The man who would be DeLay

A closer look at David Wallace, the Sugar Land mayor looking to win Tom DeLay's house seat.


Farhad Manjoo
April 4, 2006 9:31PM (UTC)

Earlier this morning we didn't know much about David Wallace, the mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, and one of several Republicans vying for Tom DeLay's House seat. Now we know a little more. And if you were hoping for something completely different from DeLay ... well, keep hoping.

According to Time, Wallace is currently the "investment committee chairman for Perry Properties Realty Investment Fund & Perry Properties, a commercial real estate company owned by Will Perry, son of Houston area homebuilder Bob Perry, a top Republican fundraiser in Texas who has enjoyed a long friendship with Karl Rove."

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The name Bob Perry may sound familiar to you. That's because he's an extremely influential, and extremely icky, Texas moneyman. In 2004, Perry contributed $200,000 to the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, which ran the TV campaign that questioned John Kerry's role in the Vietnam War. Perry is also one of DeLay's largest donors, and he paid for the legal defense of Bill Ceverha, the former head of Texas Republicans for a Republican Majority, the political action committee that DeLay used to gerrymander Texas congressional districts in 2003 (and that prosecutors allege DeLay used in a money-laundering operation).

Wallace doesn't only have close ties to Perry -- he's also affiliated with DeLay himself, as TPMMuckraker.com points out. Wallace sits on the board of directors of Rio Bend, a project to build a residential community for foster children that is sponsored by the DeLay Foundation for Kids.

Wallace, Time says, is also associated with former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. He worked as a treasurer and director of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation, and later served as CEO of an investment firm founded by Thatcher's son, Mark. (In 2004, a South African court fined Mark Thatcher for his peripheral role in an apparent coup attempt in Equatorial Guinea.)

Time provides more insight into the date of a special election for DeLay's seat. "If Delay officially resigns before this Friday, April 7, a special election could be called for the next so-called uniform election date, May 13," the magazine says. "If the resignation falls after April 7, Gov. Rick Perry (no relation to Bob Perry) could call a special election date later, or could hold the seat vacant until the general election in November. In that case, a special election would be open to all comers, but it will be up to GOP officials to name a candidate to replace Delay's name on the November general election ballot. In this scenario, any GOP winner in an earlier special election would probably have an edge."


Farhad Manjoo

Farhad Manjoo is a Salon staff writer and the author of True Enough: Learning to Live in a Post-Fact Society.

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