Wednesday, April 9, 2008

One less anti-immigration lawmaker in Congress

Shelley Sekula Gibbs, AP photo by Bob Levey

Sekula Gibbs lost the run-off yesterday (April 8, 2008) for Tom DeLay's old seat. This is a significant relief since Sekula Gibbs had been running on a vociferous anti-immigration platform.


Capital Briefing by Jim Pershing
Washington Post

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 04/ 9/2008
No Comeback for Rep. Sekula GIbbs

Former Senate aide Pete Olson defeated ex-Rep. Shelley Sekula Gibbs in Texas' 22nd district GOP primary runoff yesterday, giving Republicans their nominee against Rep. Nick Lampson (D) and, sadly, depriving Hill reporters of the chance to cover Sekula Gibbs again.

You may remember (more likely you don't) that Sekula Gibbs served in the House for a grand total of six weeks in late 2006 after winning a special election to replace Rep. Tom DeLay (R). DeLay resigned when it looked likely he would lose his re-election race to Lampson, and while Sekula Gibbs won the special election to finish out DeLay's term, she could not get on the general election ballot against Lampson in November and lost to him as a write-in candidate.

More enjoyably for the reporters who cover the House, Sekula Gibbs managed to make her mark in the very short time she served in the chamber. Within three days of her being sworn in, DeLay's leftover staff quit en masse because they were unwilling to work for her. Sekula Gibbs, in turn, demanded "an investigation" of the aides who quit, a probe that doesn't appear to have gone anywhere. And even though she was only in office for a short time, she appeared to have delusions of grandeur. Sekula Gibbs reportedly was upset that neither President Bush nor Vice President Cheney attended her swearing-in ceremony.

As for her legislative agenda, she told the Washington Post's Peter Carlson when she arrived in the Capitol, "I'm working hard to accomplish the things I'm working for. For tax cuts. For immigration reform. To make sure we have a good solution for the war in Iraq." GOP leadership sources at the time said Sekula Gibbs was quite serious about her desire to work on big-ticket pieces of legislation -- even though the House adjourned for the year less than a month after she was sworn-in and Democrats were set to take over power in January.

Alas, Sekula Gibbs won't be staging an encore performance, as she was foiled in her efforts to reccapture the seat yesterday by Olson, a former aide to Texas GOP Sens. John Cornyn and Phil Gramm. Olson beat Sekula Gibbs 68 percent to 32 percent, and will now face Lampson in the fall in one of the GOP's most targeted races. While the Lampson-Olson contest may be hard-fought, Capitol Briefing sincerely hopes that Sekula Gibbs will consider running again in 2010.


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