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Texas BlogWire

Tom DeLay To Withdraw in May, Move to Virginia

by: Karl-Thomas Musselman

Mon Apr 03, 2006 at 09:19 PM CDT

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.

Time confirms.

"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 WITHDRAWN, DECEASED, OR INELIGIBLE CANDIDATE'S NAME OMITTED FROM BALLOT.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.

Tags: TX-22, Tom DeLay, (All Tags)
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How? (0.00 / 0)
assuming this is true, i don't have cable so i just have to take you guys word for it

does a man, who claims to be a Christian,
first say "we are all sinners", implying that yes he has in fact done things that are wrong,
then say  "nothing" when asked if he'd do anything different

This sounds unremorseful to me, can you have forgiveness with out remorse.

This is just evidence of the pseudo-Christianity these fellows espouse, one where the means always justify the end, even when you are aware that what you are doing is wrong.

What a study in bi-polar hypocrisy

Prisoner of hope.

Plea Bargain (0.00 / 0)
I believe this is because he plans to take a plea bargain, be found guilty on some charges..but serve no jail time.

It has to be..

his poll numbers were not that low.

Conservative Yet Pragmatic

i don't know (0.00 / 0)
they are low enough, and more importantly, i believe the party believes he has become a liabillity to the party at large and therefor to other republican candidates.

i think it was "suggested" that he step down.

though i think conviction of a felony, either by trial or plea is a very real possibility for him, and no doubt he realizes this at this point

Prisoner of hope.

[ Parent ]
The Numbers Weren't Good (0.00 / 0)
Lampson has been leading DeLay in the majority of Houston-area polls that I've seen, with Lampson leading by 5+ points.

DeLay won the GOP Primary with about 60% of the vote, but the remainder was split between three other candidates. It would've been worse if he had faced a serious, organized competitor.

I live and work in the aerospace community that is now a part of TX-22.  The Bug Man has lost a serious amount of support here.  He did OK in the winger-only GOP primary, but he would have serious problems in the general election.  Evidently somebody realized that DeLay would literally be the best GOTV tool for Lampson. 

It will be very interesting to see who replaces DeLay on the ballot...

[ Parent ]
my point (0.00 / 0)

i'm sure he was given a polite nudge, in the virginia direction, by the real republican leadership

Prisoner of hope.

[ Parent ]
the law (3.00 / 1)
1. If DeLay resigns, there will be a special election for this term only, and that would have no effect on the fall election.

2. If he withdraws from the ballot, he can not be replaced because the D's have a nominee.

3. However, (see chapter 145, Election Code), the Republicans can not replace him on the ballot if he were declared ineligible by the State party Chair, and that can only be done if he is declared unable to serve by a physician or if he becomes ineligible to hold the seat, which could occur if:
a. he could convince the Chair (and a Court) that he has moved his permanent residence out of the state, or
b. if he were finally convicted of a felony - two things that would disqulaify him as a Texas Member.

a & b (0.00 / 0)
two things that are both very real possibilities

Prisoner of hope.
[ Parent ]
the R's will replace DeLay on the ballot (0.00 / 0)
Well, well - DeLay is already saying he'll move his official residence to Alexandria. No surprise. We know the declaration of ineligibility gambit allows his replacement, but I've never heard the withdrawing officer comment on it so cynically. It's usually a quite declaration by the Party Chair. One last flaunting from the man who said he was the federal government...and that means Virginia is becoming his permanent residence.

Where? (0.00 / 0)
Where did he say he was going to move to Alexandria?

Conservative Yet Pragmatic
[ Parent ]
TIME (0.00 / 0)
The Time Article.

I can help you ActBlue.
[ Parent ]
he's a chicken (0.00 / 0)
One thing to withdraw but to chicken out and change residency?!?
why is this chickening out (0.00 / 0)
i'm sure he sees this as taking one for the team

Prisoner of hope.
[ Parent ]
Chronicle is saying special election (0.00 / 0)
Sugar Land Mayor David Wallace has announced he will be running in a special in May for DeLay's spot. Wallace also confirmed that DeLay is not running.

Quick, deploy the lawyermobile (0.00 / 0)
You gotta think that in a duel, DeLay and Friends wouldn't outsmart the finest liberal lawyers in Texas.

There has to be some precedent to really mess with the replacement process here.

I swear I heard that the nominee could only be replaced by somebody who was on the primary ballot.

I'm sure the guys and gals (0.00 / 0)
over at the lone star project will be up all night.

Prisoner of hope.
[ Parent ]
this does not mean we can't still use him as a target/punching bag/albatross (0.00 / 0)
And this has to be so disheartening to the right wingers.

Begala should have some interesting things to say tomorrow. And I can't wait till tomorrow's Daily Show. This will make Jon Stewart even happier than the Cheney shooting incident.

Yippee! Good riddance to him. We should offer to help him pack.

We have done the impossible and that makes us mighty - Firefly

Got some election code for ya! (3.00 / 1)

(a) Except as provided by Subsection (b), if a candidate's name is to be omitted from the ballot under Section 145.035, the political party's state,
district, county, or precinct executive committee, as appropriate
for the particular office, may nominate a replacement candidate to
fill the vacancy in the nomination.

(b)  An executive committee may make a replacement nomination following a withdrawal[0] only if:

(1)  the candidate: 

(A) withdraws because of a catastrophic illness that was diagnosed after the 62nd day before general primary election day and the illness would permanently and continuously incapacitate the candidate and prevent the candidate from performing the duties of the office sought;  and

(B)  files with the withdrawal request a certificate describing the illness and signed by at least two licensed physicians;

(2)  no political party that held primary elections has a nominee for the office sought by the withdrawing candidate as of the time of the withdrawal;  or

(3) the candidate has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in another elective office or has become the nominee for another office.

(c) Under the circumstances described by Subsection (b)(2), the appropriate executive committee of each political party making nominations for the general election for state and county officers may make a replacement nomination for the office sought by the withdrawing candidate.

(d)  For the purpose of filling a vacancy, a majority of the committee's membership constitutes a quorum.  To be nominated, a person must receive a favorable vote of a majority of the members present.

(e)  A vacancy in a nomination for a district, county, or precinct office that was made by primary election may not be filled before the beginning of the term of office of the county executive committee members elected in the year in which the vacancy occurs.

Of course, it appears that nobody can totally decipher this part of the law, as to it's effect on DeLay.

While DeLay may have Indictmentitis, that doesn't count

There's a candidate for his office too.

Tom isn't being appointed to another job.

Ok, does anybody have any precedent here for a U.S. Congressional Election?

Good job. (0.00 / 0)
I think this is what "get real" was talking about a few posts back...

Now, a very great man once said that some people rob you with a fountain pen.
[ Parent ]
Actually, Phil... (3.00 / 1)
it's a different part of Chapter 145 of the Election Code that they will use to declare him ineligible (see below), and they will probably do that and have the State R Committee pick a replacement on the Nov ballot before the special - sending a signal. Can't imagine they haven't tried to wire the whole damn thing for this Wallace guy. Now we'll see if the voters know, the same folks they ran over in redistricting.

INELIGIBILITY.  (a) Except for a judicial action in which a
candidate's eligibility is in issue, a candidate may be declared
ineligible only as provided by this section.
(b)  A candidate in the general election for state and county
officers may be declared ineligible before the 30th day preceding
election day by:
(1)  the party officer responsible for certifying the
candidate's name for placement on the general election ballot, in
the case of a candidate who is a political party's nominee;  or
(2)  the authority with whom the candidate's
application for a place on the ballot is required to be filed, in
the case of an independent candidate.
(c)  A candidate in an election other than the general
election for state and county officers may be declared ineligible
before the beginning of early voting by personal appearance by the
authority with whom an application for a place on the ballot for the
office sought by the candidate is required to be filed.
(d)  The presiding officer of the final canvassing authority
for the office sought by a candidate may declare the candidate
ineligible after the polls close on election day and, except as
provided by Subsection (e), before a certificate of election is
(e)  In the case of a candidate for governor or lieutenant
governor, a declaration of ineligibility by the final canvassing
authority's presiding officer may not be made after the final
canvass for that office is completed.
(f)  A candidate may be declared ineligible only if: 
(1) the information on the candidate's application for
a place on the ballot indicates that the candidate is ineligible for
the office;  or
(2)  facts indicating that the candidate is ineligible
are conclusively established by another public record.
(g)  When presented with an application for a place on the
ballot or another public record containing information pertinent to
a candidate's eligibility, the appropriate authority shall
promptly review the record.  If the authority determines that the
record establishes ineligibility as provided by Subsection (f), the
authority shall declare the candidate ineligible.
(h)  If a candidate is declared ineligible after the deadline
for omitting an ineligible candidate's name from the ballot, the
authority making the declaration shall promptly certify in writing
the declaration of ineligibility to the canvassing authority for
the election.
(i)  If a candidate is declared ineligible, the authority
making the declaration shall promptly give written notice of the
declaration of ineligibility to the candidate.

Replacement GOP nominee for DeLay Seat (5.00 / 1)
I agree that the DeLay seat will be filled for the remainder of the unexpired term by special election, as provided by Texas Election Code Section 204.021, and the replacement of the GOP nominee for the general election for the 2 year term beginning next January is made by the Republican party according to Texas Election Code Section 145.036.

As I look more closely at the Election Code however, I disagree with what
news reports have said and I initially agreed with, that the State Republican Executive Committee will choose the new GOP nominee for the general election.  While the state political parties are mainly organized with County Executive Committees and the State Executive Committees, in this relatively rare situation where a federal election district is involved where the need for a replacement party nominee has arisen, Tex. Elec. Code Sections 171.051 & 171.054 seem to call for the creation of a District Executive Committee (one of the entities listed in Sec. 145.036) to fill the nomination spot, not the State Republican Executive Committee.  The DEC will consist of one precinct chair from each of the four counties partially in the Congressional district (with the precinct chair serving on the DEC to be elected by all of the precinct chairs in the portion of that county only partially in the district).  My closer reading of the Election Code leads me to  believe that the small number of members of the District Executive Committee will be the entity filling the nomination spot, not the much larger State Republican Executive Committee, so the news reports and DeLay's assertion in the Time magazine interview that the SREC will choose the replacement nominee appear to be wrong, though I could be overlooking something.

Shawn Stevens

Vice-Chair & General Counsel
Democratic Party of Collin County

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