Former U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson, a conservative Democrat, said Monday that he has filed
paperwork to run for the congressional seat held by scandal-scarred former House
Majority Leader Tom DeLay.

Lampson, who is seeking the Democratic
nomination for Congress, made his announcement at a restaurant before
about 100 supporters. He filed the paperwork Friday in Austin.

DeLay, a Republican, is seeking a 12th term in his suburban Houston district but is under criminal indictment in Texas and faces still more scrutiny from the expanding probe into the illegal activities of lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

Lampson represented an adjacent district for eight
years until redistricting that DeLay engineered cost him enough
Democratic votes that he lost to U.S. Rep. Ted Poe, R-Houston, in 2004.

is the first Democrat with name recognition and political experience to
challenge DeLay since he was first elected in 1984.

DeLay had to
step down as majority leader in September after a Travis County grand
jury indicted him in a campaign finance investigation.  Since the indictments, revelation of the congressman’s high-flying lifestyle using other people’s money have come to light along with investigations into a phony charity he ran with Abramoff’s money.