Top House Democratic candidate recruiter Rep. Rahm Emanuel, who has made no bones of the fact that most, if not all, of his new recruits to challenge Republicans in 2006 will be running against House Republican leader Tom DeLay, is expected to meet with former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, Houston City Councilman Gordon Quan, and Houston lawyer Richard Morrison in the coming days.
All three men have expressed a desire to run for against DeLay in 2006. Morrison, in fact, did just that in 2004, garnering 41 percent of the vote. Over the weekend, at Morrison’s request, the three potential candidates met to negotiate who would get the chance to unseat DeLay in 2006.
“Morrison wants DeLay out, he wants the chance to do it, but he doesn’t want to have a bloody primary fight that will weaken the Democratic candidate and sap him of money,” says a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee staffer. “They couldn’t find middle ground, and now Rahm is going to get involved.”
According to the DCCC source, Emanuel is leaning toward pushing for Morrison to get a second shot, but is examining polling data and backgrounds on the other two potential candidates. “Rahm and [Democratic House leader Nancy] Pelosi have targeted this campaign as the No. 1 priority nationally. They want DeLay’s head on a spike.”
To that end, Emanuel has reached out informally to former President Bill Clinton for advice and counsel on how to approach the DeLay campaign. He has also lined up commitments from the DNC for financial support against DeLay.