Defamed representative Tom DeLay resigned his District 22 seat in April of this year, long after winning the primary nomination, forcing the Texas GOP to file him as ineligable. Democrats quickly pounced on the issue, claiming that the GOP couldn’t pick a new candidate on the grounds that the U.S. Constitution governs questions of congressional eligibility. The case and will be one to watch.
Because the Democrats argued the U.S. Constitution governs questions of congressional eligibility, Benkiser and the state GOP successfully had the lawsuit moved to federal court. A hearing on the status of the temporary restraining order is scheduled for June 26.
With DeLay’s eligibility question before the courts, Republican parties in Fort Bend, Harris, Galveston and Brazoria counties have had to halt proceedings to select DeLay’s replacement on the November ballot.
But what’s even more interesting is that Steve Stockman — a Republican candidate who was running as an independent — has been kicked off the ballot by the Secretary of State because *gasp* he did’t get enough valid signatures:
Texas Secretary of State Roger Williams ruled Thursday that although Stockman had gathered more than 600 signatures in petitions aimed at putting him on the ballot, fewer than the required 500 signatures were valid.
Which leaves just two candidates if federal courts rule against the Texas GOP: Democrat Nick Lampson and. This may end up a very interesting race to watch, because if Democrats get their way and win the injunction to keep a replacement off the ballot, Republicans may end up forced to align behind a Libertarian candidate.