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Mayor Seeks DeLay Seat As Write-In

The mayor of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay's Texas hometown said Wednesday he will run as a write-in candidate for DeLay's congressional seat.

DeLay announced Tuesday he was withdrawing from the race after the Supreme Court rejected attempts by the Texas Republican party to replace him on the November ballot.

David Wallace, mayor of Sugar Land, Texas, was one of the candidates under consideration by the party to replace DeLay.

"Today, with the encouragement and backing of my family, grassroots leaders and friends, I am announcing that I will be a write-in Republican candidate for the 22nd Congressional District," Wallace said in a statement. "I will be taking the fight to Nick Lampson and his liberal allies every day. "

Lampson, a former congressman, is the Democratic nominee. He represented an adjacent district for eight years until DeLay-engineered redistricting cost him re-election in 2004.

Buffeted by scandal, DeLay resigned from Congress on June 9, after winning the primary election in his Houston-area district in March. He moved his main residence to Virginia so he could be declared ineligible to run for re-election.

Democrats sued to force DeLay to remain on the ballot and the courts ruled in their favor. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on Monday refused to block the lower courts' decision and Republicans abandoned their fight to take DeLay's name off the ballot.

DeLay's withdrawal leaves Republicans without a nominee on the ballot, but it also allows the party to support Wallace financially.

Wallace, a married father of two daughters, had more than $157,000 cash on hand as of June 30. He is currently serving his second term as mayor of Sugar Land, where he has lived since 1993 and served on the city council.

Lampson, meanwhile, collected more than $2 million in preparation for a race against DeLay, which he will now use to defeat Wallace.

Lampson campaign manager Mike Malaise said Tuesday that Lampson "will continue running his positive, issue-based campaign and we hope the multiple write-in candidates who enter this race will do the same and reject DeLay's brand of dirty politics."

A write-in must declare candidacy and pay a fee or submit required signatures by Aug. 29.

DeLay faces money-laundering charges in Texas alleging he helped route illegal corporate cash to legislative campaigns in 2002. DeLay also has close ties to Jack Abramoff, the lobbyist at the center of a congressional corruption investigation. Two former DeLay aides who later worked with Abramoff have pleaded guilty in the investigation.

DeLay has denied any wrongdoing in both investigations, but the indictment forced him to step down from his job as majority leader and Republicans urged him to abandon his efforts to reclaim the job.

Four men have been elected to Congress as write-in candidates. In 1954, Sen. Strom Thurmond of South Carolina won the state's Democratic nomination using fliers showing voters how and where to write his name.

In May, Charlie Wilson, an Ohio legislator, won the Democratic primary nomination for the House through a write-in campaign heavily financed by his party.

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