by BRAD ROLLINS
State Rep. Jason Isaac, widely thought to be considering a run for Congress in the newly redrawn District 25, says he is focused on keeping a seat in the Legislature he has held for a scant seven months.
Republicans out for U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett’s scalp redrew his District 25 as a GOP stronghold that stretches from western Hays and Travis counties north to Johnson County in suburban Fort Worth picking up a slice of Fort Hood along the way. Although signed into law by Gov. Rick Perry, the redistricting map must still pass muster with the Department of Justice and, ultimately, the federal courts system.
“I think the maps are going to change. That’s what I’m hearing and what people a whole lot smarter than me are saying,” Isaac said this week. “I think it’s a little premature right to now to look at a congressional race. I’m not saying it’s premature in terms of years, but at least for a couple months” until the wide-open District 25 race shapes up more.
Still, Isaac left little doubt that he is actively exploring the possibility. He said, “I certainly have a lot of people encouraging me to look at a congressional race. I’d just hate to jump in too early. I’m just trying to meet people and keep my options open.”
Another possible Republican contender, State Rep. Sid Miller likewise sounded like he thought District 25 might be a good fit.
“I know the district well and I’ve represented part of more it for than 10 years. It’s a good district for me to run in. It’s kind of nice the way it turned out,” Miller said, noting that when the Legislature is in session, his Austin home is also within District 25.
Elements of the tea party movement, so pivotal in 2010 Texas, will still be a force in next March’s primary, Miller said. He proudly noted his ranking by Rice University political science professor Mark P. Jones as the seventh most conservative member of the Texas House based on 1,000 votes cast this year.
“I think Jason’s [ranked] 53. Somewhere in the middle,” Miller said. “I was thinking like the tea party a long time before there was a tea party.”
Underscoring the fluidity of the race, former Railroad Commissioner Michael Williams, on the heels of a disappointing fundraising haul for his congressional bid for the Arlington-centered District 33, denied through a spokesman this week media reports that he was considering switching to District 25, which includes his Austin home.
“District 33 is an Arlington district. Michael Williams is from Arlington and he’s running to represent District 33 in Congress,” said Williams’ political consultant, Corbin Casteel.Email | Print