The Jeffersonian: Politicks, Sports, and Culture

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Breaking News: Raymond Ending CD-28 Campaign

From Jaime Castillo at the Express-News:

Richard Raymond will abruptly end his bid to challenge U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar today, citing the uncertainty over the congressional district's boundaries that will be examined by the Supreme Court next year, a source close to the campaign said.

Raymond, a Laredo state representative who has assailed Cuellar as a Republican in Democratic clothing, is expected to annouce his decision later this afternoon in Laredo.

"He's calling around today letting his supporters know," the source said. "It would be fair to say he's out of the race."

Raymond, who boosted his fundraising totals with a $200,000 personal loan earlier this year, did not want to be left in the position of having a lot of debt and then seeing the district changed dramatically by the courts in a few months, the source added.

Colin Strother, a campaign spokesman for Cuellar, who has been leading in early polling, said the incumbent congressman doesn't buy that argument.

Honestly, I find that one a little hard to believe too. The polling shown by Pineda Consulting, Rodriguez' pollster so take it with a grain of salt, has shown Raymond to be mired in 3rd place. So it's, once again, a two man race... at least until we hear something from Victor Morales. More later.

Update, 3:57 pm: It's official. Raymond is now running for re-election to his state house seat. That could also cause some problems down in Webb County as a couple of local pols had already announced for that seat too.

While the public answer is uncertainty over the makeup of this congressional seat due to the Supreme Court's TX re-redistricting hearing in a few months, that doesn't hold all that much water for me. It's a little difficult for me to believe that the Supreme Court would mandate another redistricting cycle before 2010 in their upcoming decision or that they'd mandate we move back to the 2002 lines. As I said above, the polling that I've seen had Raymond way down in 3rd. Raymond had to substantially cut into Cuellar's lead in Webb County and then figure out a way to garner more votes than Cuellar in south Bexar County. From what it looks like, he didn't.