Congressional District 21 Candidates Forum
By Lee Nichols,
10:38AM, Tue. Oct. 24, 2006
Candidates for Congressional District 21 will answer questions from a panel of news reporters (including yours truly) on Wednesday, Oct. 25, 7-8:30pm, at the LCRA Board Room in the Hancock Building, 3700 Lake Austin Blvd. Because it is a special election open to anyone, necessitated by a Supreme court decision, Dist. 21 is a crowded field of seven candidates, five of whom will be at the forum: independents Tommy Calvert, James Lyle Peterson, and Mark J. Rossano, Democrat John Courage, and Libertarian James Arthur Strom. You'll notice a very important name missing from that list: the Dist. 21 incumbent, Republican Lamar Smith.
I was going to comment on how incumbents not debating their opponents screws over the voters and does a disservice to democracy, but we were beaten to the punch by this excellent commentary from Texas Monthly's Paul Burka. If all the redistricting of the past few years has left you confused about which congressional seat you'll be voting for (thanks Tom DeLay, you big jerk), go here and enter your address. Then look for the text that reads "Congressional District for November 7, 2006 Election." The new Dist. 21 stretches from north San Antonio, into the Hill Country out to Real County, and up into western Travis County, including a slice of southwest Austin.