West Texas Political Showdown - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/9/03

West Texas Political Showdown

"Yeah, it's just right around the corner," said Rep. Randy Neugebauer. Elected just four months ago, he's already preparing to get back on the campaign trail. This time, against a formidable opponent. 25 year Congressional veteran, Charlie Stenholm.

"It would be my intention to run in the 19th district," said Stenholm.

"The old seniority of who's been there the longest. It's really not that much of an affect any more," said Neugebauer.

"We're blue dog Democrats with 25 years of experience," countered Stenholm.

Despite his conservative slant, Stenholm is still a Democrat. A label Neugebauer will almost certainly besiege. "You've got a member of the majority and a member of the minority, and that really makes a lot of difference," said Neugebauer. "I think that question will be answered on November 4th, and we'll find out whether West Texas is Republican or conservative with common sense," said Stenholm.

Both men will spend enormous amounts of money to answer that question in their favor. In his last election, Stenholm spent over $1.5 million, Neugebauer, just over half that amount. Even so, Stenholm expects to be out-spent. "No way that I would be able to match the Republican party on money, no way," said Stenholm.

Though seated on opposite sides of the aisle, both men are friends, still hoping that the Texas legislature will leave the U.S. legislature alone. "Wished it weren't that way, Randy and I both prefer that this would not have happened, and it hasn't happened yet," said Stenholm.

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