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r7r ‘r 7r r r li 511-1.”7″ .7Qi77.1N :Q8′.’70*A` . “.’ d ‘ :7: 4 Dingus vs. Craddick DO GOOD GUYS FINISH LAST? Democrat Bill Dingus, whose campaign slogan is “One of the Good Guys,” is a self-proclaimed optimist. Optimism may be his strongest attribute in running against Republican Texas House Speaker Tom Craddick, who has held his Midland seat in the Legislature for four decades. Dingus says residents of House District 82 tell him they admire what he is doing, even the ones who say they vote Republican “come hell or high water:’ Nonetheless, Dingus, president of an oil investment firm and a former city councilman, says he expects Republican constituents to split their ticket and vote for him in November. He believes Craddick has “lost touch with his voters” and that a widespread desire for change will propel him to victory. He has staked out issues that Democrats have used in the past to win in Republican districts: increasing enrollment in the Children’s Health Insurance Program, holding down electric rate increases, and halting the Trans-Texas Corridor. Dingus’ supporters are calling his campaign “brave.” Asked to respond to this oft-heard description, Dingus said he found it “sad that to run against someone, such as Craddick, you have to have courage and guts.” A legal challenge to Dingus’ candidacy almost ended his quixotic campaign before it began. The Texas Republican Party filed a lawsuit challenging his eligibility because he had not resigned from his seat on the Midland City Council when he filed as a candidate for state representative. Dingus resigned from the council and then filed his own lawsuit against the state Democratic Party. The candidate hopes the lawsuit will force a definitive statement from all parties concerned about his eligibility to be on the ballot. One would assume suing the Democratic Party won’t hurt his chances in the district, either. JUNE 27, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 7