Tom Delay is history. In a statement last night, the embattled former majority leader from Sugar Land announced that he will be resigning his position sometime in May.
While I do not agree with Delay's politics and generally find him despicable, I must tip my hat to this ultimate show of gamesmanship. Delay knew he was facing a fight that he might very well lose. Rather than run the risk of losing to a Democrat, he steps aside and thereby deflects all of the partisan angst that would surely be heaped upon him by the rabble-rousing hoardes of leftists hell bent on his demise.
With the 800-lb gorilla now out of the mix, the race returns to the most fundamental of all political truths: it will likely be a cold day in Hades when a Democrat wins the seat in District 22 - the mother of all gerrymanders. A suburban, upper-middle class, SUV driving, gay-marriage hating, god fearing White people's congressional district. Good luck, Mr. Lampson.
Now that the hammer will sounf the final nay, an interesting question arises as to who will fill his spot on the ballot come November. Even the GOP hierarchy in these parts is at a loss. Today's Chronicle has this from Harris County Republican Party Chairman, Jared Woodfill, "We'll have a little bit of time to figure it out. We have our lawyers looking at it."
Well, yours truly has been looking at it for about twenty minutes this morning, and some questions emerge. Given my exhaustive expertise on the Texas Election Code, I'm led to the conclusion that these particular circumstances implicate Chapter 145, appropriately titled "Withdrawal, Death or Ineligibility of a Candidate." There is no doubt that Delay can withdraw, but the question of how the GOP executive committee is to name a replacement candidate remains.
Section 145.036 grants authority to the appropriate executive committee to nominate the replacement candidate following a withdrawal only if 1) the candidate withdraws because of illness (not applicable, unless greed and avarice counts) itical party that held primary elections has a nominee for the office sought by the withdrawing candidateas of the time of the withdrawal (not applicable); or, 3) the candidate has been elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in another elective office (also not applicable). How then, to get around this provision?
I'm sure there's a way, and I'm sure they'll figure it out in no time. But for now, the best we can hope for is that the the Democrat Party realizes that getting Delay out of Congress is not as important as getting Nick Lampson in. It's time to go to work.