Thursday, July 6, 2006

Democrats may run unopposed in Delay's old seat

Tom Delay, the rightly reviled House Republican Leader, quit both his leadership post as well as his seat (the 22nd district in Texas) because he thought he might be a drag on other Lone Star GOPers in this fall's elections. He claimed that since he now lives in Virginia, he was no longer eligible as a candidate in Texas and so asked a federal judge -- who just happens to be an appointee of Bush Sr -- to allow the state party to substitute a candidate of their own choice since he already won the primary.

But Judge Sam Sparks ruled that the Constitution only requires that a person be resident in the state on the day of the actual election -- not the primary. As a result, Delay is stuck on the ballot for a seat he's not even running for; in fact that he deliberately abandoned. The GOP is already filing an emergency appeal with the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans (or what's left of it).

On top of his very serious legal problems as regards campaign finance fraud, the people in Sugarland will be forced to make a choice: Choose a Democrat (Nick Lampson) they may not like but who will actually represent them, or a Republican who won't even show up for work but still collect his cheque. Shades of Sinn Féin in Northern Ireland, who don't take their seats in Westminster. Guess who they're going to pick? Not the Bugman. If Lampson winds up running unopposed, it could be smooth sailing for the other Democrats in the state.

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