Friday, July 07, 2006
The GOP's DeLay dilemma
From The Morning Grind

Texas Republicans are appealing U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks ruling Thursday that former Rep. Tom DeLay's (R-Texas) name must remain on the November ballot. But what if they lose the appeal? What does DeLay do? Will the Hammer come out of retirement to run for a 12th term? Or will he remain on the sidelines? His daughter, Dani DeLay Ferro, released a statement yesterday predicting that Spark's "ill-advised decision ... will be overturned" and reiterated DeLay's claim that as a resident of Virginia he is ineligible to be on the Texas ballot. Ferro made no mention of the possibility that DeLay would run if the court decision stands. A source close to DeLay told the Grind it was highly unlikely that the former House majority leader would reverse course and run for the seat.

The source suggested DeLay would unequivocally state he would not run and would not serve in Congress if elected.

"He will do the smartest thing," the source said. The source noted that DeLay resigned from Congress because he realized re-election to this suburban Houston-based seat was in doubt and that "calculus" has not changed. And the source said that DeLay realizes that if he got back into the race it would also have national implications for other midterm contests. Still, there would be encouragement from state and national Republicans to vote for DeLay in November. If DeLay won and refused to serve, a special election would need to be held, thus allowing the GOP to put their nominee on the ballot.

"A vote for Tom DeLay is a vote for choice, and a vote for a Republican," the source said.

A half a dozen Republicans interested in replacing DeLay must now wait to see how things shake out. As for former Rep. Nick Lampson (Texas), the Democratic nominee, he has just gone up on the air with ads.
Posted By Mark Preston, CNN Political Unit: 7/07/2006 10:48:00 AM ET | Permalink
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