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DeLay To Drop Texas Candidacy

Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay intends to withdraw as a candidate for Congress, a Republican strategist said Tuesday, a step that would allow the party to field a write-in candidate in hopes of holding his seat.

The development came one day after Texas Republicans lost a court battle in their bid to replace DeLay on the November ballot.

The strategist described DeLay's intentions on condition of anonymity, saying the former majority leader intended to make his own announcement.

DeLay, buffeted by scandal, resigned his Houston-area seat in June and said he was switching his legal residence to Virginia. He had already won a primary in Texas, and Republican officials there moved to name a replacement candidate. Democrats went to court to block the switch, and prevailed.

The maneuvering underscored the battle between the two national parties as they vie for control of Congress in the midterm elections.

DeLay had held the House seat for more than two decades, but stepped down — first surrendering his post as majority leader, then resigning — at the urging of party leaders who said he risked defeat this fall.

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