HOUSTON - A brawling three-way Republican primary is getting under way for the congressional seat held by embattled U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay.
DeLay already is campaigning against former Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Lampson. But his campaign isn't exactly ignoring the two opponents in the March primary, calling one a joke and questioning whether the other is even a Republican.
Michael Fjetland, a lawyer with his own international practice, filed Friday to enter the GOP primary in his fourth try at unseating DeLay. Pat Baig, a former teacher and political newcomer, said she plans to file papers soon but already has begun campaigning.
DeLay, the former House Majority leader who is expected to stand trial next year on charges of money laundering in a campaign finance scheme, usually campaigns quietly without much concern for his re-election in a solidly Republican district.
DeLay has been rocked not only by criminal charges, but the Supreme Court's decision Monday to review the Texas congressional redistricting plan he engineered.
And a recent poll showed 53 percent of voters in his Houston-area 22nd Congressional District would vote for someone other than DeLay if the general election were held today.