Republicans fight to bump Delay off ballot

Aug. 4, 2006 at 9:20 AM

AUSTIN, Texas, Aug. 4 (UPI) -- Texas Republicans have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to knock former congressman Tom Delay off the November ballot for the House seat he resigned in June.

The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals handed Delay a victory Thursday when a three-judge panel ruled Texas Republican Chairwoman Tina Benkiser did not have the authority to remove him from the ballot because he had moved to Virginia, the Houston Chronicle reported Friday. He still has a home in Sugar Land, Texas.

The Texas Democratic Party successfully argued that Benkiser had violated both state and federal law by trying to declare Delay ineligible for office and replace him with another candidate. Benkiser said the state GOP would take the matter to the U.S. Supreme Court.

An attorney for the Texas Republican Party said he would ask Justice Antonin Scalia to issue a stay of the appeals court ruling or ask the full court for an expedited appeal. James Bopp Jr. said the ruling had effectively given Democrats, who see Delay as a weakened candidate, control over who can run in the 22nd Congressional District.

"We would like for it to be resolved in August," he said.

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