Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Taking on DeLay

Democrat Plans Run Against DeLay
Former Texas Lawmaker Lost House Seat in GOP Redistricting

By Mike Allen
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 4, 2005; A06

Last November, four-term Rep. Nick Lampson (D-Tex.) lost his job after a controversial redrawing of the state's congressional seats -- engineered by House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-Tex.) -- left Lampson in a district that was more than half new to him and much more heavily Republican than before.

Now, with DeLay facing a barrage of questions about lavish overseas trips and close dealings with lobbyists, Lampson wants to settle the score for the redistricting, which cost four veteran Texas congressmen their seats and is known by local Democrats as "Tommymandering."

Lampson, a moderate Democrat and one-time public school teacher from Beaumont, plans to formally file papers as a candidate today and then to move into DeLay's suburban Houston district. He said he will spend $4 million or more to try to defeat the majority leader, using ethics as a major issue.

Two recent polls by local news organizations contained troubling news for DeLay, and Democrats contend that his problems are distracting him from his job and provide them with an unusual opportunity to knock off a GOP leader. DeLay was admonished by the House ethics committee three times last year. When the panel is formally reconstituted this week after a four-month hiatus, it will consider whether to launch a formal investigation of DeLay's travel and dealings with lobbyists.



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