Last Friday DeLay refused to participate in any candidate debates:
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay on Friday said that he would not debate Democratic challenger Richard Morrison before the Nov. 2 election.
On Friday, DeLay said that his latest poll put his support at 56 percent, while Morrison’s was much lower. “His name ID is nothing,” DeLay said.
“I want to know why he’s ducking me,” Morrison said last week in a visit to The Daily News. “What’s he scared of?”
At least so far, DeLay, the No. 2 man in the House, has calculated that Morrison has more to gain from a debate than DeLay has to lose by avoiding one. “A debate would be for his benefit, not for mine,” DeLay said of Morrison.
He also said that a debate with Morrison would go largely unnoticed. “Unfortunately, debates in this area have never had an impact because media doesn’t cover them,” DeLay said. “Television never covers them. I’ve been doing this for 20 years and you show up to a forum where there are more candidates at the forum than constituents. I’d much rather be out with constituents, meeting them and going to events.”
But guess who showed up at Tuesday night’s debate in the Houston suburb of Clear Lake?
Tom DeLay made a surprise appearance Tuesday night at a Clear Lake candidates forum.
There was so much speculation about whether the House majority leader would show up that even the sponsor, the Clear Lake High School Debate Club, said it wasn’t expecting him.
But about 30 minutes before the forum began, the students got a call that the Sugar Land Republican was on his way.
The candidates, including independent Michael Fjetland, Democrat Richard Morrison and Libertarian Tom Morrison (no relation), discussed local issues such as the San Jacinto Rail line and mobility, and national concerns including the war on terror and homeland security.
“I didn’t think he was going to be here,” Fjetland said. “If I had known, I would have prepared better, but I winged it. If he didn’t show up, he realized he was going to look bad.”
DeLay said he didn’t know why people were surprised to see him, although he admitted he decided to attend at the last minute.