Disarray coud cost GOP DeLay's seat

Aug. 20, 2006 at 8:26 PM

SUGAR LAND, Texas, Aug. 20 (UPI) -- The withdrawal of former U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay, R-Texas, from his re-election campaign may cost the Republicans the seat in Congress, it was reported.

DeLay's withdrawal was intended to let the party handpick someone else to run in his place, but ended up leaving the party with no choice but to coalesce around a write-in candidate, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. But three contenders have declared their write-in candidacies and the hope of the party backing a single candidate has essentially vanished, the newspaper said.

One top state Republican, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, is urging Republicans to consider voting for the Libertarian candidate on Nov. 7.

Former Rep. Nick Lampson is the Democratic candidate for Delay's former seat.

DeLay announced April 3 that he would leave Congress, and resigned in June -- after winning the Republican primary in a re-election campaign that he then abandoned. Democrats sued under state law that only allows replacement in extraordinary circumstances -- such as death or serious illness -- once a candidate has won a primary.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled DeLay had to remain on the ballot.

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