Perennial presidential candidate Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr., who is serving 15 years in prison, declared his candidacy yesterday for the U.S. House seat from Virginia's 10th Congressional District. LaRouche, a Democrat, was convicted in part for his role in a conspiracy to raise money fraudulently for his political activities in the mid-1980s. In a written announcement, LaRouche said there is a leadership void on Capitol Hill, and castigated the Bush administration for what he described as a weak response to the crisis in China and accused members of Congress of conducting a "disgusting spectacle" over former House speaker James C. Wright Jr.'s alleged ethical violations. "So far this year, both the administration and the Congress have blundered in respect to each major decision confronting them," LaRouche said in his statement from the Alexandria City Jail. Rep. Frank R. Wolf, a Republican who plans to seek a sixth term next year representing the 10th District, refused to comment yesterday on LaRouche's announcement. LaRouche, 66, who has run for president four times, beginning in 1976, was convicted in federal court in Alexandria in December of 11 mail fraud counts, one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiring to hide his income since 1979, the last year he filed a tax return. Evidence presented during the four-week trial showed that LaRouche and his six co-defendants participated in a scheme to solicit loans for his organization's political projects with false assurances to lenders that they would be repaid. The case has been appealed to the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. As a convicted felon, LaRouche is prevented by law from voting in general elections, but not from running for office, according to the State Board of Elections. And though he is jailed in the 8th Congressional District, as a Virginia resident he is allowed to run anywhere in the state, an elections official said. The 10th District includes Loudoun County, where the LaRouche organization is based, Arlington County, Falls Church, Fairfax City and the northern half of Fairfax County. In his statement yesterday, LaRouche compared himself to Henry Clay, a Virginia-born statesman and orator who represented Kentucky in the House and the Senate in the 1800s and who was known, among other nicknames, as "the Great Compromiser." LaRouche said Clay provided national leadership at a time of crisis during James Madison's presidency. Nancy Spannaus, editor of a weekly newspaper supported by LaRouche associates, has announced that she will oppose Virginia's senior senator, Republican John W. Warner, next year. Spannaus's husband, Edward, was a codefendant of LaRouche and was convicted in December of conspiracy and nine counts of mail fraud.