Marilyn Tennissen Oct. 30, 2012, 2:35pm

Last week, former President Bill Clinton stopped in Beaumont to rally support for the Democratic candidate running for U.S. Representative. On Monday, Republican shining star Ted Cruz appeared in the city to boost the GOP candidate.

Both parties have brought out their big guns for what is turning out to be one of the hottest races of this election – the newly created 14th Congressional District in Texas.

Democrat Nick Lampson is pulling in supporters for the district that includes Jefferson, Galveston and part of Brazoria counties in an otherwise red state. On Oct. 25, about 1,500 people came to hear Clinton and Lampson at the baseball fields at Lamar University. Clinton spoke of how his mother and Lampson’s were single, working, women who raised their children with the help of government assistance programs. The Republicans want those programs cut, he said.

Then days later, the GOP gathered at Madison’s on Dowlen Road on Oct. 29 to support their candidate, Randy Weber, and to hear from U.S. Senate candidate Cruz. Cruz has backing of the Tea Party, and gained national attention speaking at the Republican National Convention in Florida. He is expected to be a shoo-in for the Senate seat being vacated by Kay Bailey Hutchison.

 Weber and Lampson are competing for the redrawn district currently represented by Republican Ron Paul, who is not seeking reelection. Federal Election Commission reports show that Lampson has raised $416,933 in the third quarter for his campaign. For the same time period, Weber has raised $357,823. Lampson has raised almost $1 million overall, compared to about $750,000 by Weber.

Weber, 59, owns Weber's Air and Heat, a heating, ventilating and air-conditioning company in Pearland, and is a two-term state representative from the area southeast of Houston.

Lampson, 67, is a Beaumont native who served in Jefferson County as the tax assessor for many years before representing Southeast Texas in the 22nd Congressional District and the 9th Congressional District.

Among other endorsements, Lampson recently got the endorsement of the Houston Chronicle. The paper mentioned his history of working across the aisle in his previous terms in Congress as a positive achievement.



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