I think there is a good chance this opinion is upheld on appeal. If so, Republicans appear to have two choices:Advantage Lampson!
(1) DeLay may run for office again (then potentially resign [if he wins], allowing the governor to call a special election to name a replacement), a step DeLay is considering;
(2) DeLay withdraws, and Republicans support a write-in candidate. My quick look at the Texas write in rules make this look like a possible strategy, but there may be wrinkles I don't see at first glance. Even though the district is a Republican one, it will be hard for Republicans to mount a successful write-in campaign, especially if legal proceedings drag out for a while before the party unites behind a write-in candidate and explains to voters how to cast a write-in ballot.
Update: Source close to DeLay says he's in...
Could Tom DeLay be headed back to the House? A source close to the ex-Congressman tells TIME that DeLay is planning an aggressive campaign to retake the House seat he quit in June if an appeals court lets stand a ruling by a federal judge last week that his name must stay on November's ballot--even though he has moved to Virginia. "If it isn't overturned, Katy bar the door!" says a G.O.P. official. "Guess he'll have to fire up the engines on the campaign and let 'er rip." DeLay, awaiting trial for money laundering, never intended to fade away. He plans to give paid speeches and has signed a deal to have his bio penned by best-selling author Stephen Mansfield. But to run, DeLay would have to raise money fast: his campaign fund has well under $1 million left. At least he knows his would-be opponent well: ex-Congressman Nick Lampson's original district was eliminated in a redistricting engineered by DeLay.