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Tom DeLay's Candidate Quicksteps Out of 'Dancing'

"Ms. Evans felt it was in her children's best interest that she also withdraw from competition on 'Dancing With the Stars' to give her family her full attention at this difficult time," the statement continued. "Ms. Evans hopes that her fans and TV viewers who've supported her in recent weeks and throughout her music career will respect and understand her need for privacy in the face of these recent events."

ABC has been "wonderful under the circumstances and . . . very supportive," Hollins told The TV Column.

When DeLay resigned from Congress, several months after stepping down as House majority leader last September after a Texas grand jury indicted him on charges stemming from a campaign finance investigation, he said he would continue "to engage in the important cultural and political battles of our day."

Who knew that would include a campaign to squash liberal "Dancing With the Stars" contestants -- like Jerry Springer.

Shortly before the show debuted, DeLay sent out a blast e-mail, asking his supporters to vote for Evans on the dancing competition series because she had been a strong supporter of the Republican Party and "represents good American values in the media" while "ultra liberal talk show host Jerry Springer" does not.

"We need to send a message to Hollywood and the media that smut has no place on television," DeLay said.

Ironically, at the time, there was some speculation DeLay's endorsement of Evans had something to do with her husband, who ran unsuccessfully for political office in Oregon four years ago and whose résumé includes chairman of Craig PAC, a national political action committee dedicated to electing Republicans at the federal and state level, and executive director of the conservative organization American Destiny Inc.

The Tennessean reported Thursday that news of the split "stunned Music Row . . . because Evans and Schelske . . . were considered to have one of the strongest marriages in country music."

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