The appeals court upheld a ruling by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks that the Republicans couldn't replace Delay.
DeLay, who retired from Congress and moved to Virginia, can stay on the ballot and return to Texas and campaign to regain his old seat -— or withdraw and leave U.S. House District 22 without a Republican candidate. It was not immediately clear if his lawyers would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
DeLay won a March primary before resigning from Congress on June 9. He is awaiting trial in Texas state court on money laundering and conspiracy charges alleging that illegal corporate cash helped pay for legislative campaigns in 2002.
After he moved to Virginia, state Republicans said he was ineligible to run in Texas and sought to replace him on the ballot.
Texas Republican Party Chairwoman Tina Benkiser said she declared DeLay ineligible to be the GOP nominee because of his Virginia driver's license, state tax withholding documents and voter registration. Texas Democrats sued to keep DeLay on the ballot so they can continue to use him as a poster boy for bad behavior.
Sparks, however, cited evidence that DeLay has maintained his homestead exemption in Sugar Land, that his wife continues to live there and that he was found in Texas -— not Virginia —- when Democrats subpoenaed him to court.
Former Democratic Congressman Nick Lampson is running for the seat.
Thursday, August 03, 2006
APPEALS COURT: DELAY MUST STAY
Tom DeLay's name must stay on the November ballot, even though he's not actively running for reelection to Congress, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday. The Austin American-Statesman -- such a great name for a paper -- reports:
Such a peculiar hell for DeLay. If he decides to campaign, he might win, but he'll bring down his party in the process.