Dallas County Republicans File Lawsuit To Throw 128 Democrats Off Primary Ballot
Dallas County Republicans have filed a lawsuit to remove 128 Democratic candidates from the March 6 primary ballot.
The lawsuit, filed Friday, alleges that Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Carol Donovan didn’t sign the petitions of the candidates before sending them to the Texas Secretary of State’s Office, which is required by law.
"The Election Code says the chairman, and nobody else, has to sign them," Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham, a lawyer for the Dallas County Republican Party, told the Dallas Morning News. "Carol Donovan is the chair. She was supposed to sign them. She didn't do it."
Donovan responded to the lawsuit in a statement Sunday evening:
"We have assembled a legal team of Dallas' best and brightest Democratic election law attorneys. Though we are taking this case seriously, the Republican Party's lawsuit is not supported by Texas law. We will fight to ensure that all Democratic voters in Dallas County can participate in a fair Primary election.”
Lawyers for 14 of the 128 candidates have asked a court to dismiss the case, arguing the Dallas County GOP and its chairwoman Missy Shorey have no standing to bring the suit since they are not candidates in the election, according to the Morning News.
State Rep. Eric Johnson, D-Dallas, says he was one of the candidates targeted by the Republican party’s lawsuit and calls the action an attack on minority voters.
“Texas Republicans are constantly looking for ways to disenfranchise minority voters. They have done it at the state level in Austin and now they are trying to do it at the local level in Dallas County,” he said in a news release. “The vast majority of the Democratic candidates who were targeted by the DCRP’s frivolous lawsuit are minorities. This is just the latest attempt by Texas Republicans to take away the ability of minority voters to elect candidates of their choice.”
Democratic filings in congressional, statewide and local races are being questioned. The lawsuit alleges only a fraction of the candidate petitions approved by Donovan contained her signature and that her signature on other petitions was not hers.
Bingham told the Morning News the lawsuit isn't an election strategy, but Donovan disagrees.
“It is clear by this attack that the Dallas County GOP cannot win at the ballot box, so they are trying to litigate their way into victories in Dallas County, with no concern for Dallas County voters,” Donovan said. “Instead of playing Trump-style politics, they'd be better off legitimately recruiting and fielding their own Primary."
Read the Dallas GOP's lawsuit below
The names of the candidates in question begin at the bottom of Page 9 of the lawsuit and continue through Page 12.
The lawsuit documents have been updated with personal information redacted. This story has been updated throughout.