Lampson eyeing a run for Congress from Ron Paul's seat

Former Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Texas) is seriously considering a run for Congress in the district being vacated by Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who announced Tuesday that he would not seek another term in the House.

"I certainly have an interest in taking a look at being back in Congress," Lampson told the Houston Chronicle on Tuesday. "I don't want to go back and get caught up in all the divisiveness that's going on now, but I would really look at an opportunity to explore serving Texas."

Lampson, a conservative Democrat, was first elected in 1996, and held the seat until the mid-decade redistricting pushed through by former Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Texas) in 2004. He returned to Congress for one term, two years later, winning DeLay's old seat after the House majority whip left the House to avoid ethics charges.

Texas Republicans approved a new redistricting map that, if it stands up to legal scrutiny, would create a district very similar to the one Lampson held from 1997-2005. The district, which would stretch from Galveston and Houston's suburbs to the Louisiana border, would include much territory Lampson has already represented. Galveston County is increasingly Republican, but the areas around Beaumont and Port Arthur, while conservative, still vote for Democrats with a conservative bent.

Galveston Mayor Joe Jaworski, a Democrat, might also consider a run. Former Rep. Steve Stockman (R-Texas), who Lampson beat in 1996, has indicated he might also be interested in the race.