Posted on October 29, 2010 at 6:15 PM
Friday, Oct 29 at 6:28 PM
AUSTIN – Though he is running against a Tea Party Republican, incumbent U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, D-Austin, believes he can hang on to his seat in Congress despite the anti-incumbent mood across the country.
Doggett dismisses his opponent as “some Tea Party extremist.” Republican Donna Campbell, M.D., is a political newcomer, who believes members of Congress should not spend more than six years in office.
What is so extreme about this emergency room physician from Columbus, a small town between Austin and Houston?
"She’s advocated an across the board tax that would be a 23 percent tax increase,” Doggett alleges.
For starters, Campbell says that is only part of the story.
“Income tax, payroll tax, you wouldn’t pay any of that. Businesses wouldn’t pay anything like that. If it’s a retail tax, and you buy something new you’d pay 23 percent,” she explained of her plan.
She also believes state should protect their sovereignty and have the power to nullify federal laws.
“Anything that violates our sovereignty, should be null and void,” she said.
Campbell says she decided to run following the 2008 presidential election after she was disenchanted by the federal government.
“You know what, I’m a little disenchanted with some of the things that have happened there lately,” Doggett responded. “That’s why I voted against these big bank bailouts. That’s why I voted against some of the spending requests of President Obama.”
While Doggett and Campbell do not agree on much, they do, however, agree that the sweeping geography of this district, which stretches from the State Capitol to an area south of Interstate 10, will have a profound impact on this race.
The district now includes parts of metro and suburban as well as rural farm and ranch land. All told, the Texas 25th encompasses eight counties and only part of Austin.
"It's a question of why Central Texas, particularly here in the Greater Austin Area, would want someone who lives in a small rural community over two hours drives away,” Doggett said.
To the contrary, Campbell believes her outsider status will prove appealing to voters.
"To not have government as usual, some of that may be me coming up against the establishment, a Republican establishment, but people are tired of government, politics as usual,” she said.
While the national political winds may be blowing in Campbell’s favor And while she has posed one of Doggett's toughest re-election challenges, most watchers of Congress still give Doggett the advantage going into Tuesday's election.
As of Thursday, the Cook Political Report, an online political publication which ranks the competitiveness of Congressional races, ranks the District 25 race as “likely Democrat,” meaning Doggett’s seat is “not considered competitive.”
Real Clear Politics has also rated Doggett’s seat as safely in Democratic hands.