The mayor of former Majority Leader Tom DeLay's hometown said Wednesday he will run as a write-in candidate for his House seat after the scandal-scarred DeLay moved to withdraw from the November ballot.
David Wallace, one of the candidates Texas Republicans were considering to replace DeLay, said in a statement that he had the backing of family, grass-roots leaders and friends in his write-in bid. The Democratic nominee is former Rep. Nick Lampson.
"I will be taking the fight to Nick Lampson and his liberal allies every day," said Wallace, the mayor of Sugar Land, Texas.
Wallace has name recognition and money-raising ability - more than $157,000 cash on hand as of June 30 - that party officials need to take on Lampson, who had amassed more than $2 million in his campaign treasury as of June 30 in preparation for a race against DeLay.
DeLay announced on Tuesday he was withdrawing from the race after Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia rejected attempts by Texas Republicans to replace him on the November ballot.
The former congressman who served more than two decades was forced to act after Republicans lost several court fights to remove his name from the ballot in the Houston-area district and replace him with a GOP-chosen nominee.
DeLay resigned from Congress on June 9, after winning a primary election in March, and moved his main residence to Virginia.
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.