Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Congressman and former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R -TX) told MSNBC "Hardball" host Chris Matthews Monday that he would withdraw from his reelection bid for the surburban Houston seat he has held for over two decades, and the Houston Chronicle reports this morning that DeLay would resign from the House of Representatives soon.

DeLay, first elected to the House in 1984, was at one time among the most powerful men in the legislative branch. But the congressman with a bare knuckled political style has suffered considerably in recent months, forced to quit his leadership position after being indicted in the Lone Star State as part of an continuing investigation into the allegedly illegal use of funds for state legislative races as well as questions about his ties to lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

His polling numbers have been falling, and he reportedly told Matthews that he was expecting to take a beating throughout the summer regarding the campaign contribution controversy. He also mentioned the polling numbers in an interview with the Galveston County Daily News, showing him barely leading Democratic nominee and former Congressman (before the controversial redistricting) Nick Lampson. DeLay is expected to publicly announce his decision later today.

There will likely be a special election to fill the seat this summer. As the party primaries have already been held, DeLay's name cannot be taken off of the ballot unless he either 1) dies, 2) become so ill he would be unable to serve, or 3) become otherwise ineligible to serve. Although DeLay is indicted, he can only become ineligible upon conviction for a felony. However, he can (and told Time magazine he probably would) leave the congressional district and make his legal residence in Virginia (many members of Congress have homes in the DC surburbs while in office). Then, it would be up to either the GOP chairs of the four counties which make up the 22nd Congressional District (it covers parts of Harris, Fort Bend, Galveston, and Brazoria counties) or the Texas Republican Executive Committee to determine who will carry the party's banner into the general election in November.


Post a Comment

<< Home