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Former House Majority Leader and Republican powerhouse Tom Delay (R-Texas) announced he would be resigning his House seat in the next couple of months. While he said it wasn't because of his legal troubles, they've certainly played a part in his demise. The indictments are keeping him tied up with bad publicity and have hampered his ability to to be effective.
One must also consider the scandals tied to Jack Abramoff, formerly a close ally of Delay and the corruption conviction of Tony Rudy, his former deputy chief of staff. All these things together have plagued Delay's ability to be re-elected and while he claimed he probably could've won, it would've been ugly and quite expensive. He claimed the election would been a referendum about him instead of an issue based election.
A defiant DeLay declared he had "no regrets" and he professed "no fear" of any investigation as he railed against "liberal Democrats," vowing to deny them the chance to win his seat with a campaign highlighting a host of legal difficulties and alleged ethics violations. Polls showed that DeLay's latest reelection bid appeared increasingly likely to end in defeat.
The real issue comes down to who gets the seat in a special election. Delay will officially move his residence to Virginia to be taken out of consideration for the November election. This will allow Republicans to begin building a candidate.
Republicans said that, with DeLay gone, they have a much better chance of holding the seat. Although redistricting took some Republicans out of the district, Bush won 64 percent of the vote there in 2004. According to GOP sources, one almost-certain candidate is Sugar Land Mayor David G. Wallace. Tom Campbell, who was second to DeLay in the primary with 30 percent of the vote, said last night he would run in any special election.
Former Democratic Texas Congressman Nick Lampson was challenging Delay and led pretty strongly in the polls. This race will still be expensive but the Repugs think they can still hang onto the seat now that Delay is leaving.
This race is still winnable but it's going to take more effort than ever. Delay has promised whichever Republican fills his slot will go to Congress. Lampson will definitely need to take the slot in the special election. It'll be needed to give him a strong shot in November.
Technorati Tags: Delay, Texas, Sugarland, Nick Lampson, Tony Rudy,
posted by Stithmeister @ 1:37 PM
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I'm currently working in the telecomm industry but one of my passions is still politics.
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