"Conservatives can have fun, too, you know. Conservatives can let their hair down and open their collar and put on some dancing shoes. ... I'm in it to win it," he said.
The 62-year-old former Congressman from Texas said there would need to be some "negotiations" if someone wanted him to wear sequins or show the open-shirt look.
DeLay later posted a message on Twitter: "Headed to the studio for my first rehearsal and to meet my partner. Hoping it's not Nancy Pelosi."
Other "Dancing" contestants include entertainer Donny Osmond; singers Mya, Macy Gray and Aaron Carter; actors Melissa Joan Hart, Debi Mazar and Ashley Hamilton (son of George); models Joanna Krupa and Kathy Ireland; reality stars Kelly Osbourne and Mark Dacascos ("the Chairman" on Food Network's "Iron Chef America"); mixed martial artist Chuck Liddell; professional snowboarder Louie Vito; Olympic swimmer Natalie Coughlin; and former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin.
The ninth season of "Dancing With the Stars" premieres Sept. 21.
ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co.
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