Democrats Outsmart Republicans In Texas

From Holden:

Ha! Texas Democrats won a temporary restraining order preventing Texas Republikkkans from pulling Tom DeLay’s name off the ballot.

The opening salvo of the 22nd Congressional District general election campaign was fired Thursday as the Texas Democratic Party won a court order blocking Republicans from picking a replacement for U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay for at least 14 days.

The temporary restraining order was issued a day after the state GOP declared DeLay ineligible to run because he has moved his official residence to Virginia. DeLay resigned from office amid legal and ethical problems and his last official day in Congress is today.

The order means the Republicans will have to wait even longer to pick a candidate for the November ballot, giving that person less time to raise money and campaign.

The Texas Democratic Party argued that there is evidence DeLay still lives in Fort Bend County. They also say they will ask a court to permanently block the Republicans from replacing DeLay, R-Sugar Land, on the November ballot.

[snip]

Attorneys Chad Dunn of Houston and Cris Feldman of Austin represented the Democratic Party in court. The Republicans were represented by party General Counsel Donna Davidson.

Dunn said evidence in Fort Bend County shows DeLay still has a homestead exemption, is registered to vote and has a Texas driver’s license. Dunn said DeLay also was continuing to represent the district in Congress at the time Benkiser said the county chairs could start picking a replacement.

Dunn also said the Democratic Party wants to permanently block [Texas Republican Chair Tina] Benkiser from replacing DeLay. Dunn said state law allows a candidate to be replaced on the ballot if they move out of state, but he said the move must be for a compelling reason.

“If you move out of the district, it’s because you have a compelling reason to do so, not just because you can’t win it,” Dunn said. He said to allow the party to replace DeLay would set a precedent for manipulating the election process to “cherry pick” candidates.