Ever since Mrs. Diddie and I moved into CD-07 earlier this year, we've searched for the candidate to to take on John Cumbersome. I asked Barbara Radnofsky at a meeting of Cy-Fair Democrats if she was was going to run, and she said, "No. Are you?"
Very funny, Bar.
I kept hearing that Jim Henley, the challenger in '06, was in, then out. I took a lunch meeting just last month with a fellow who said he was running; he still is, just not as a Dem. And I had heard something about an executive with a wind energy company who was born in Ireland, who served in the Peace Corps and spoke fluent Spanish, and who was capable of self-funding a run for Congress, but I couldn't figure out who it was.
Today, in my inbox (and in the Chronicle) I got my answer:
Skelly, of West University Place, is chief development officer for Horizon Wind, which investor Michael Zilkha of Houston and his father, Selim, bought about seven years ago for $6 million. This year a Portuguese utility company bought the firm for about $2.2 billion.
Brought to the United States as a child after being born to Irish parents in England, Skelly would not discuss how much money he will put into his campaign. Candidates can spend an unlimited amount on their own behalf, and in past Houston-area campaigns some have laid out more than $3 million to get elected.
He obviously is familiar with his opponent:
Culberson, he said, has "never met a problem he couldn't make worse." Skelly said the congressman has failed to work with local government officials to help solve mass transit problems, for example.
Which naturally can't be said of the incumbent:
"Who?" Culberson said today when asked by telephone about Skelly's candidacy for the November general election. Moments later he said Skelly's remarks are "pretty standard boilerplate Nancy Pelosi liberal Democratic spin."
Culberson, 49, said he never takes an election victory for granted, but "will continue to stay focused on doing the job I have done for the people of District 7 which they clearly approve of."
Clearly not. Just read the comments at the Chron link. Then again, Congressman Culberson is molded in the image of his idol, Tom DeLay; he's ignorant, ideological, and built to stay that way.
It sure will be nice to have some actual representation in DC in about a year. Charles Kuffner's post from last year is instructive as regards the math associated with a successful Democratic challenge in the district. I'll let Skelly finish the introduction of himself: