4/4/2006 HOUSTON -- 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 or mid-June. That would trigger a special election for his replacement.
DeLay was expected to disclose his plans Tuesday at a news conference in Houston, said the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the congressman had not made that announcement. "He'll resign," a former senior DeLay aide said. In an interview with the Galveston County Daily News in Texas, DeLay said his decision was based partly on troubling internal polling results, including a poll taken after the March Republican primary that showed DeLay beating Democrat Nick Lampson in a close race. "Even though I thought I could win, it was a little too risky," DeLay said.
Tom DeLay is accused of funneling corporate donations to Republican candidates for the Texas House in violation of state laws. A federal investigation also is pursuing DeLay's ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. DeLay has denied any wrongdoing in both cases. But DeLay's woes continued to build over the past week. On Friday, DeLay's former chief of staff pleaded guilty to conspiracy and promised to help with a federal investigation of bribery and lobbying fraud relating to Abramoff.