Doggett Defeats the Doctor

Dem congressman manages narrow win

Doggett
Doggett (Photo by John Anderson)

Well, the tea partiers weren't crazy to think they could defeat Lloyd Doggett. Wrong, maybe, but not crazy.

After a long, tense evening of checking results Tuesday night, the incumbent Dis­trict 25 congressman finally appeared at the Driskill and gave the Democratic faithful a rare chance to celebrate. GOP challenger Donna Campbell failed, but she came closer than any challenger had since the district's current boundaries were drawn in 2006. In past elections, Doggett garnered two-thirds of the vote – this time, he sweated to 53% over Campbell's 45%, with Libertarian Jim Stutsman taking the rest.

"Isn't it great to live in a blue oasis in a red desert?" Doggett said to thunderous applause that belied the crowd's small size on the otherwise disappointing night. "At least in Travis County, we can say we put a little spoonful of sugar in that bitter brew of the tea party.

"Regardless of what's happened in the national level, who the speaker of the House might be in Washington, who the governor of Texas might be down in the – wherever he's renting a space – like you, I plan to continue standing for Austin values."

Doggett seemed to acknowledge that the results might affect the way he'll have to represent a district that doesn't seem as liberal as before, but still made it clear he'll go only so far. "There is of course no political party, including ours, that has a monopoly on truth," he said. "We're ready to work with anyone that has constructive ideas about how to meet the challenges of our community, our state, and our nation. I can tell you, though, that I've seen the bitterness of the tea party up close and personal, and I haven't found much willingness to cooperate or much interest in the truth."

Afterward, he conceded to the Chronicle that he was worried. "I did expect it to be a close election," Doggett said. "There's some returns you expect and some you don't, but we could clearly see the level of determination by the tea party was really strong and it would be very apparent in these rural and suburban counties.

"I knew the main opponent I had was overconfidence," he said. "And I think we managed to rally people near the end of this campaign to realize that it would be close and it required a big turnout here."


See a video of Doggett's victory speech at austinchronicle.com/newsdesk.

U.S. House

District 10 Travis County Total
Michael McCaul (R)* 33,397 44% 144,774 65%
Ted Ankrum (D) 40,008 53% 73,934 33%
Jeremiah “JP” Perkins (L) 2,708 4% 5,091 2%
District 21
Lamar Smith (R)* 31,919 57% 162,763 69%
Lainey Melnick (D) 21,654 39% 65,834 28%
James Arthur Strohm (L) 2,541 5% 7,687 3%
District 25
Donna Campbell (R) 32,468 32% 84,780 45%
Lloyd Doggett (D)* 67,536 66% 99,853 53%
Jim Stutsman (L) 2,652 3% 4,424 2%

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

election, Lloyd Doggett, Donna Campbell, Jim Stutsman

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