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Last Updated: Wednesday, 8 March 2006, 11:40 GMT
DeLay sees off mid-term challenge
Tom DeLay
Mr DeLay denies the charges against him
Embattled Republican Tom DeLay has held on to the party's nomination for his Texas seat in the House of Representatives in mid-term polls.

Mr DeLay, a former House leader who is accused in a campaign finance case, beat three rivals in his first serious challenge in 22 years in office.

He said the result showed voters had "placed their full faith" in him.

Mr DeLay denies charges of money laundering in a case which has yet to go to trial.

He and two others are accused of laundering $190,000 (109,000) in corporate donations for distribution to Republican candidates to the Texas Legislature in the 2002 state campaign.

State law forbids the use of corporate money for political campaigns.

435 seats - all to be contested in mid-terms
Republicans hold 231 seats; Democrats 201; one independent; two seats vacant
Democrats need to win net 15 seats to win control of House
With the votes from 190 out of 216 precincts counted by late Tuesday, Mr DeLay had won 62% of the vote, AFP news agency reported.

"He has never failed to win a primary election without 75% or 80% of the vote," Robert Stein, a professor of political science at Rice University in Houston, told AFP.

November's election has the potential to reshape the US political landscape.

100 seats - 33 to be contested in mid-terms
Republicans hold 55 seats; Democrats 44; one independent
Democrats need to win net six seats to win control of Senate
All 435 members of the House of Representatives face the voters, along with one-third of the 100 members of the US Senate.

There are also 36 races for state governorships which are often keenly watched to see if they throw up likely presidential candidates.

Republicans have controlled both chambers of Congress since 1994, except for a brief time when Democrats held the Senate.

But with President George W Bush suffering in the polls and the Republican party on the defensive over corruption scandals, Democrats have hopes of making gains.

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