Justice Scalia's decision yesterday gave the Texas GOP unsavory options: run Tom DeLay despite his troubles and unwillingness to serve, or let Lampson run unopposed. But there's a third -- and far riskier -- option: the state party can back a write-in candidate.
Time's Mike Allen reports
On Monday, the Democrats won the ballot battle and Republican sources tell TIME that DeLay is leaning to another surprising move -- stepping aside and supporting a write-in candidate for his old seat.Via Hotline
A Republican official with first-hand knowledge of the deliberations by DeLay said he "more likely than not" will go that route, although he had not made a final decision. "With DeLay, you never know," the official said.
DeLay plans to make the announcement this week, the officials said....
Some Republican lawyers said the write-in strategy could prevail if DeLay's name remains on the ballot, or if officials allow him to withdraw so that no Republican name appears....
But the notion of a write-in campaign drew a different reaction in Texas. "This would be met with ridicule and scorn," said Bill Miller, a Republican consultant with close ties to the state's GOP legislative leadership. "This strategy would be like handing the seat to the Democrats on a silver platter," Miller said. "Tom Delay will be remembered for the craziest end to his political career."
Miller said it is arrogant to think voters will support a write-in gambit. "Anointing a candidate never works," Miller said. "Voters are likely to say, 'The hell with 'em' and write in their own name, their kid's name." Plus, if his name remained on the ballot, it is likely DeLay would attract some of the vote away from the write-in candidate.