The NY Times reports:
In letters sent Saturday to fellow House Republicans and to Speaker J. Dennis Hastert, Mr. DeLay said he supported the call for an election for a new leader and was stepping aside to avoid becoming a political liability as Republicans battle to hold their majority.
“The job of majority leader and the mandate of the Republican majority are too important to be hamstrung, even for a few months, by personal distractions,” said Mr. DeLay.
Mr. DeLay intends to seek re-election to his seat representing the Houston suburbs and reclaim his position on the Appropriations Committee.
Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio said of Delay:
I can say without hesitation he is one of the most effective and gifted leaders the Republican Party has ever known.”