Tom DeLay Drops Re-Election Bid

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay will not seek re-election and will soon resign from Congess.

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, a Texan touched by a lobbying scandal that ensnared some of his former top aides and cost the Republican his leadership post, won’t seek re-election to Congress, officials said Monday. They said DeLay also is likely to resign his seat and leave Congress by the end of May. DeLay was expected to disclose his plans Tuesday, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the congressman had not made that announcement.

Several officials said DeLay called Texas members of Congress to tell them he is dropping out of his re-election race. “He’ll resign,” a former senior DeLay aide said.

Big news, although hardly a surprise. DeLay’s troubles have mounted to the point where he was less than a 50-50 bet to win re-election in a district that has been gerrymandered to include few of his longtime constituents and, even if he pulled off victory, his former colleagues have no interest in putting him back in a leadership position.

This is good news all around for the GOP. It helps stop the bleeding caused by the Abramoff scandal and related misdeeds that, even if he had no criminal complicity in, were direct results of decisions made by DeLay. This early in the cycle, there’s still plenty of time to find a clean candidate to replace DeLay as the Republican nominee.

Further, with six months to go until the election, this is hardly a Torecelli situation where the opposition candidate spent his campaign money fighting one opponent only to have a last-minute switch. Indeed, the general election campaign for Congress has not started in the minds of very many voters.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. jacob says:

    Let me guess, leaving to spend more time with his family. His family is big too, when you marry your cousin things do get confused.

    I guess one of his attnys sat him down and suggested he spend his time trying to avoid a life time in jail rather than just getting reelected.

    All the rats are leaving this sinking ship, About the only friend this guy has left is Duke Cunningham.