Former House Majority Leader Tom Delay announced this morning that he would resign his seat in Congress and would not seek re-election. While those two issues are being compressed into one in most of the reporting, they are really separate.
Mr. Delay could have decided not to run for re-election, but retained his seat until the end of this term. Indeed, that would have been the more normal course to take.
One can only suspect that Mr. Delay is guessing -- or knows -- that the investigation related to corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff will keep getting closer to him, and that as a result he is resigning both for the good of himself and the Republican Party. A former aid to Mr. Delay, Tony Rudy, pleaded guilty to corruption charges late last week.