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HOUSTON -- As the presidential candidates hopscotch around swing states, another high stakes political battle brought former president to Texas.

Bill Clinton flew into two cities to campaign for congressional candidates in districts that national Democrats see as opportunities for victory over Republicans.

Clinton spoke first to a raucous crowd in San Antonio, where Democratic congressional candidate Pete Gallego is locked in one of the closest congressional races in the country with incumbent Republican freshman U.S. Rep. Francisco Quico Canseco.

Next, he flew to Beaumont to campaign for Nick Lampson, the former congressman who hopes to return to Washington for the district now represented by the retiring U.S. Rep. Ron Paul.

I like Nick Lampson, Clinton told a crowd gathered on a baseball field at Lamar University. He believes in arithmetic over illusion, evidence over ideology, shared prosperity and opportunity and responsibility over trickle down. And I know he believes we re all in this together.

Clinton had planned a trip to San Antonio, but Democratic activists in Beaumont said they didn t know he was coming to their city until the day before his arrival.

Randy Weber, a Republican state lawmaker running what s a predominantly Republican district, has the partisan advantage. Weber touts himself as the only conservative running in the conservative district and he repeatedly refers to the Obama-Pelosi-Lampson liberal agenda.

Lampson hopes his ten years in Congress representing two districts have earned him enough name identification to overcome the partisan demographics.

Lampson is well known in Beaumont, the largest city in the district that stretches through Galveston and Lake Jackson. His campaign aides figure if he can carry Jefferson County, whose county seat is Beaumont; by 60 percent he ll win the election.

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