The Corner

TOM DELAY’S PLANS

Tom DeLay has just released a statement about this year’s congressional race.  He will not run for election; he will remove his name from the ballot in Texas’ 22nd District, and he has not taken any position on the question of a write-in candidate:

Earlier this year, I resigned from the U.S. House of Representatives and became a resident of the State of Virginia to establish my new business, and where I now legally reside, pay taxes and vote.

This decision was and is irrevocable, which I made clear from Day One.

My action was taken in accordance with Texas law, federal precedent and common sense.  I felt it was my duty to allow Texas Republicans to choose a new candidate for the Fall Election Ballot.

In November, voters in the 22nd District of Texas deserve a choice between candidates who actually live in the District, between a Republican and Democrat, and between those two people whose names should appear on the ballot.

Unfortunately, the Federal courts have slammed the door shut on a fair ballot choice between two 22nd District residents representing our two major parties.

The court ruling allows a Democrat — who just moved into this community  — to have his name appear on the ballot, but denies the Republican Party the opportunity to place a District Republican resident on that same ballot.

Voters should be concerned.  While judges are denying Texas voters a fair choice this Fall, the courts allowed the Democrat Party in New Jersey to withdraw Robert Torricelli and substitute Frank Lautenberg in a similar case just weeks before the 2002 U.S. Senate election.

As a Virginia resident, I will take the actions necessary to remove my name from the Texas ballot.  To do anything else would be hypocrisy.

I strongly encourage the Republican Party to take any and all actions necessary to give Texas voters an up-or-down choice this Fall between two major party candidates.

I just spoke to Dani DeLay Ferro, who is her father’s spokesman in this matter.  “Anyone can take his name off the ballot,” she said.  “The fight was over replacing it with another name.”  Now, Ferro said, the election “will be between [Democrat] Nick Lampson and a write-in candidate.”  Perro said her father “doesn’t have a position” on who that write-in candidate should be.

Byron York is a former White House correspondent for National Review.

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