Thursday, July 06, 2006

DeLay's two-edged Sword

A federal judge ruled that former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s name must appear on the ballot as the Republican congressional candidate for the 22nd Congressional District in Texas.

DeLay may opt to “withdraw,” the Houston Chronicle reports, but the GOP may not submit any other name to the Texas Secretary of State to replace DeLay. As the GOP primary winner, only DeLay's name is eligible to “appear on the Nov. 7 ballot as the...nominee for the congressional seat he abandoned last month.”
“DeLay had sought to have state Republican Chair Tina Benkiser declare him ineligible by moving from Sugar Land to his condominium in Virginia. But Sparks said that would not make him ineligible because the requirement under the Constitution is whether DeLay is an inhabitant of Texas on election day.”
Republicans are sure to appeal the unfavorable ruling to the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, but in the meantime, former Rep. Nick Lampson is free to run his campaign without an active GOP opponent.

If the only constitutional requirement for a newly elected member is that he or she be a precinct resident on Election Day, and Texas “law does not allow a party's nominee to withdraw when another political party also has a nominee,” sure looks like the GOP is stuck with Tom DeLay as their chosen candidate.

Republicans were reportedly working hard and furiously to replace DeLay on the ticket; now, it looks like they’ll have to play the hand DeLay gave them on his way out of town until its bitter and hopefully losing end.

Suck on that one, DeLay!
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