Representative Tom DeLay not seeking future Majority Leader position

Sunday, January 8, 2006 File:Tom Delay old pix.jpg

Tom DeLay
(Image missing from Commons: image; log)

Republican Tom DeLay, representative from the 22nd Congressional District of Texas, announced on Saturday that he will not attempt to reclaim his majority leader position in the United States House of Representatives. Fellow Republicans, spear-headed by Jeff Flake (R-AZ) and Melissa Hart (R-PA), began circulating a petition last week urging to elect a new majority speaker, thus setting the stage for House leadership elections.

In a letter written and addressed to fellow House Republicans on Saturday, DeLay said, "During my time in Congress, I have always acted in an ethical manner within the rules of our body and the laws of our land."

He asked Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert to convene a body to elect a new majority leader. "I cannot allow our adversaries to divide and distract our attention," wrote DeLay.

The 58-year-old DeLay held the leadership post for 3 years, until he was forced to relinquish it in late 2005 after he became involved in an ethics scandal. He stepped down after a Texas jury indicted him for money laundering and conspiracy, but initially planned to re-seek the majority speaker post if he was acquitted.