|Tom DeLay- Corporate Whore|
Indicted DeLay must stay on November ballot: Court
Thursday, July 6, 2006; 1:59 PM
HOUSTON (Reuters) - Former House Republican Leader Tom DeLay, indicted in Texas on campaign-finance related charges, must stay on the ballot in November's congressional elections despite withdrawing from the race, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.
A local Republican Party official said the ruling by a U.S. court judge in Austin, Texas, would be appealed within 30 days.
"Ultimately, everyone knows the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals will be the final arbiter of this," said Harris County Republican Party Chairman Jared Woodfill.
DeLay was forced to resign as majority leader last year after being indicted in Texas. Hurt by the criminal charges as well as an expanding scandal involving disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, he dropped his re-election bid when he faced a strong Democratic challenger.
A Republican backbencher who rose to power as a conservative leader in the House, he resigned from Congress on June 9 to give Republican Party officials time to replace him on the November ballot. DeLay had moved from his suburban Houston congressional district to Virginia.
Democrats sought an order to keep DeLay on the ballot, claiming he could not declared ineligible under the U.S. Constitution until election day.
DeLay has not been charged in the Abramoff scandal, but two former aides have pleaded guilty to corruption charges.
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