DeLay gets an opponent for 2006


    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.

    Lampson
    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.