A special election to fill the remainder of DeLay's term likely will be held on the next uniform election date, which is in May. Gov. Rick Perry will set the date.And, to add insult to injury:
It was unclear Monday night how Republicans will select a November nominee to replace DeLay, who won the GOP primary in March.
"We've never had this happen in a congressional race," Woodfill said. "We'll have a little bit of time to figure it out. We have our lawyers looking at it."
At issue is whether the responsibility for selecting a nominee falls to the 62-member state Republican Executive Committee or to GOP officials in the five counties that lie partly within the 22nd Congressional District.
"It's in our best interest to choose a nominee before the special election. Otherwise, the election is going to be a free-for-all," Woodfill said. "The situation you don't want is for our nominee to be someone different than the person who runs for the special."
[Campaign Manager Mike, yes-that's-his-real-last-name] Malaise said [Democratic nominee Nick] Lampson hasn't decided whether to run in the special election, and isn't sure DeLay legally can withdraw from the November ballot.This is not a situation the GOP in Texas wanted to be in, or even expected to be in. His resignation and withdrawal throw the race into disarray, quite a different picture from the self-serving one he painted for Time Magazine. "I'm very much at peace with it," he told TIME. Clearly, the Texas GOP is left with a mess on its hands, and aren't exactly at peace with what he's left them.
Sorry, I keep thinking about this: the Chronicle article lists quite a few local luminaries who might be interested in this seat; not an unusual sitaution when there is a shift in power like this. How they will be selected for the special election, I'm not sure. It may be all of them could get on the ballot without going through a party selection procedure; or it may be party officials get to decide who the standard bearer is. My memory of special elections is hazy, but I think the former would prevail over the latter, and it could be the GOP's worst nightmare: a smorgasbord of candidates v. Nick Lampson.
And guess who wins? It gets worse if DeLay can't get his name off the ballot, and Lampson is the incumbent, even for a few months. Suddenly November looks very interesting, indeed.
DeLay is saving his hide with this departure, because he's hearing footsteps; and the shoes aren't being worn by Ronnie Earle. The time of reckoning labelled "Abramoff" draws nearer.
One last update on the way out the door: another reason DeLay quits now, is so he can use his campaign funds to pay his legal defense bills, which undoubtedly will be rising quickly. Wonder if these folks expected that?
Ain't politics grand?
Never say never again update: TPM Muckraker raises an interesting point: DeLay told Time Magazine he decided to quit the race on March 29th. He announced his decision yesterday, and continued fundraising for his race in the meantime. Federal law apparently allows him to commit this fraud on his benefactors. But his idea of ethical behavior is certainly a curious one.