Two weeks ago, we told you about one of the DCCC’s unlikely 2010 targets: Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX). National Democrats say Sessions is vulnerable, and they’ve placed him on their list races to watch this year. Last week, as Sessions launched his reelection campaign the DCCC stepped up its attacks on the well-known conservative.
National Democrats are eager to highlight Sessions’ ties to alleged Ponzi schemer Alan Stanford. After Stanford came under investigation from the SEC last year, Sessions, who accepted tens of thousands in donations from Stanford for the NRCC, sent Stanford a note that suggested their relationship was a close one.
The DCCC couldn’t be more pleased. It didn’t take the group long to go after Sessions after he opened his new campaign headquarters last week.“Pete Sessions is starting his campaign 9 months before the election because he knows it will take that much time to explain to Dallas families why he sold them out to Wall Street CEO’s and Washington special interests,” Jesse Ferguson, the DCCC’s spokesperson for races in the southern U.S. said. According to Ferguson, “major concerns about Sessions continue to grow” in his Dallas-area district, most of them centered around the “culture of corruption politics” Democrats say Sessions represents.
A call to the phone number listed on Session’s reelection website found the number to be inoperative this morning.
Other than spotlighting the race and dispatching House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer to the district for a fundraising stop in January, it’s not clear what the national Democrats plan to do to target Sessions. He’s in a strongly Republican district, and in a year that might have a lot of tough races for Democrats, it’s very possible the resources the DCCC’s sends against Sessions could stay in the form of strongly-worded press releases only.
Democrats say the candidate their fielding in the race, Greir Raggio, is showing on his own that Dallas is ready to think twice before reelecting Sessions. Raggio raised $146,000 in the last fundraising quarter, a number that Democrats say proves the race is a serious one.
Sessions, national chair of the NRCC, raised close to $500,000 in the last quarter and has over $1 million on hand according to the latest FEC figures. But Democrats say they still consider him a target, and say the fact that he kicked off his reelection bid right after Raggio announced his fundraising totals shows Sessions is scared of the challenge.
In a statement to The Hill last week, Sessions said he’s ready for the 2010 race. “We’re not taking anything for granted,” he told the paper.
Even in Sessions’ GOP-tilting district, Democrats are saying the same thing.