Updating as informed...
This isn't an April Fools joke.
Chris Matthews just came onto Scarborough Country over the phone to report that Rep. Tom Delay will be announcing tomorrow that he is not going to run for re-election in his Congressional District.
Via Kos Diaries here, here, and here. Also Agonist and Atrios.
Poor DeLay Republican blogger doesn't want to believe it until tomorrow. Sorry Chris...
Any election gurus that know what this could mean, please comment away. We're researching too. Check cable channels.
"I'm going to announce tomorrow that I'm not running for reelection and that I'm going to leave Congress," DeLay, who turns 59 on Saturday, said during a 90-minute interview on Monday. "I'm very much at peace with it."
This quote is great.
Asked if he had done anything illegal or immoral in public office, DeLay replied curtly, "No." Asked if he'd done anything immoral, he said with a laugh, "We're all sinners." Asked what he would do differently, he said, "Nothing."
As to when and how, here is the critical piece.
DeLay said he is likely to leave by the end of May, depending on the Congressional schedule and finishing his work on a couple of issues. He said he will change his legal residence to his condominium in Alexandria, Va., from his modest two-story home on a golf course here in the 22nd District of Texas. "I become ineligible to run for election if I'm not a resident of the state of Texas," he said, turning election law to his purposes for perhaps on last time. State Republican officials will then be able to name another Republican candidate to face Democrat Nick Lampson, a former House members who lost his seat in a redistricting engineered by DeLay.
Texas Election Code that may apply...
§ 145.035. WITHDRAWN, DECEASED, OR INELIGIBLE CANDIDATE'S NAME OMITTED FROM BALLOT. A candidate's name shall be omitted from the ballot if the candidate withdraws, dies, or is declared ineligible on or before the 74th day before election day.
Swing State Project has an analysis of the Texas Code and it isn't pretty.
One thing to point out though, if DeLay were to simply resign, it should trigger a special election. If that were the case, I believe that we'd be forced into a free for all open election before November, similar to what happened in Texas State House district 48 when Todd Baxter suddenly resigned. The differences are that one is a state house seat, the other a federal house seat. Also, the HD-48 seat special was before the primary, this is after.