Doherty Cracks $1 Million in CD 10 Race
Democratic challenger to McCaul mounting a serious campaign
By Lee Nichols,
4:08PM, Tue. Sep. 30, 2008
You'll be able to read more about Larry Joe Doherty, the Democratic challenger to Austin (District 10) Congressman Michael McCaul in this week's upcoming issue, but in the meantime, here's a tidbit for you: As today's campaign finance reporting deadline draws near (we'll try to round up some totals as they're posted), Doherty is reporting that he has topped $1 million in donations.
That total includes the $100,000 that the legal malpractice lawyer loaned to his campaign, and it says a lot about the seriousness of what McCaul, a Republican, faces. His previous Democratic opponent, Ted Ankrum, had a total budget of only $65,000 in 2006, and in his first run, his only Democratic opposition in 2004 was a write-in candidate. Clearly, things have changed in this district that was personally re-drawn by Tom DeLay in 2003 to be a safe seat for Republicans.
It's also clear that while McCaul hasn't yet mounted a full counterattack to Doherty's advertising, he's taking it seriously. In a fundraising letter to supporters, McCaul wrote:
"And while we were in communities like Tomball and Katy trying to help and comfort those whose lives were turned upside down [by Hurricane Ike], my opponent was designing negative, false and misleading mail that he sent out at the end of last week. What would drive a man to do so such a thing while people are suffering? Hasn't my opponent seen enough destruction already?
"As this desperate act shows my opponent will stop at nothing to win this seat and destroy Republicans in Congressional District 10, no matter what has happened in their personal lives."
Not that McCaul needs a whole lot of fundraising help. A recent report listed the mansion-dwelling West Austinite as the 11th-richest member of Congress, worth almost $24 million. McCaul is the son-in-law of Lowry Mays, board chair of the Clear Channel media empire.
District 10 stretches from West Lake Hills, through North Austin and Pflugerville, and then all the way to the suburbs of Houston.