About two dozen Republicans have agreed to sign a petition that calls for an election to permanently replace Rep. Tom DeLay as majority leader in the U.S. House of Representatives, aides said on Friday, dealing another blow to the indicted Texan’s political future. Fifty signatures would be needed to require the 231-member House Republican conference to hold an election, which could come within weeks, they said. “We have commitments for about 25 signatures. The letter calls for a leadership election for a permanent majority leader,” said Matthew Specht, a spokesman for Rep. Jeff Flake, a conservative Arizona Republican. A source close to House Republicans, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of DeLay’s situation, told Reuters that the signatures were being collected from conservative and moderate Republicans. The source said Rep. Charles Bass, a New Hampshire moderate, was working closely with Flake. Another source, a Republican leadership aide who asked not to be identified because the petition effort was still underway, said it was still unclear whether the remaining 25 Republican signatures would be collected, but that they had already made a strong statement. Calling Friday’s developments “significant,” the aide added, “It is […]

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