Tuesday, April 04, 2006
AP: DeLay to resign from Congress - April 4
By DAVID ESPO, AP Special Correspondent -- Tuesday, 36 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Succumbing to scandal, former Majority Leader Tom Delay, shown at right speaking to the Heritage Foundation last year in this file photo, intends to resign from Congress within weeks, closing out a career that blended unflinching conservatism with a bare-knuckled political style.
Republican officials said Monday night they expect the Texan to quit his seat later this spring. He was first elected in 1984, and conceded he faced a difficult race for re-election.
"He has served our nation with integrity and honor," said Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who succeeded DeLay in his leadership post earlier this year.
But Democrats said the developments marked more than the end to one man's career in Congress.
"'s decision to leave Congress is just the latest piece of evidence that the Republican Party is a party in disarray, a party out of ideas and out of energy," said Bill Burton, a spokesman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
A formal announcement of DeLay's plans was expected Tuesday at a news conference in Houston.
DeLay has consistently denied all charges of wrongdoing, and he capped a triumph in a contested GOP primary earlier this year with a vow to win re-election.
In an interview Monday with The Galveston County Daily News in Texas, DeLay said his change of mind was based partly on a poll taken after the March Republican primary that showed him only narrowly ahead of Democrat Nick Lampson.
"Even though I thought I could win, it was a little too risky," the paper quoted him as saying.
In a separate interview with Time Magazine, DeLay says he plans to make his Virginia condominium his primary residence, a step that will disqualify him from the ballot in Texas and permit GOP officials there to field a replacement candidate. "I can do more on the outside of the House than I can on the inside right now. I want to continue to fight for the conservative cause. I want to continue to work for a Republican majority," DeLay told the magazine for its online edition.
It was not clear Monday night whether Texas Gov. Rick Perry would call a special election to fill out the unexpired portion of DeLay's term, or whether the seat would remain vacant until it is filled in November.
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