August 8, 2006

Ex-Rep. DeLay says he won’t run for House seat

HOUSTON (Reuters) - Indicted former U.S. House of
Representatives Republican leader Tom DeLay said on Tuesday he
will not run for his former seat in Congress even though
federal courts have ruled his name cannot be removed from the
November ballot.

"Earlier this year I resigned from the U.S. House of
Representatives and became a resident of the state of Virginia,
to establish my new business, and where I now legally reside,
pay taxes and vote," DeLay said in a statement.

"This decision was and is irrevocable, which I made clear
from Day One," DeLay said.

DeLay said he would act to remove himself from the race for
the 22nd Texas congressional district in suburban Houston and
encouraged the Texas Republican Party to offer up a candidate
to challenge the Democratic nominee ex-Rep. Nick Lampson.

While the Republican Party cannot replace DeLay's name on
the ballot, they can organize a campaign to write in another

A spokeswoman for Lampson's campaign said Lampson did not
have an immediate comment on DeLay's decision.

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rejected on
Monday an emergency request by the Texas Republican Party to
put on hold lower federal court decisions requiring DeLay's
name be kept on the ballot.

In March, DeLay said he would resign from Congress and not
seek re-election just days after beating three Republican
rivals in the party's primary election. Polls had shown he
might lose to a Democrat.

The federal courts ruled that allowing the state Republican
Party to replace DeLay prior to the November 7 election would
violate the U.S. Constitution.

Republicans claimed they were acting in accordance with
Texas law allowing political parties to replace a candidate who
becomes ineligible before election day. By claiming Virginia
residency, DeLay sought to make himself ineligible.