A lawsuit that seeks to remove 128 Dallas County Democrats from the March primary ballot is “completely baseless,” the county party says.
The lawsuit "should be dismissed as frivolous litigation,” county Democrats said in a news release.
The lawsuit, filed Friday by Dallas County Republicans, 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.
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.
The Dallas Morning News reports that Johnston asserted that Donovan has the power to designate a person to sign the documents:
"Dallas lawyer Randy Johnston called the GOP's effort a cynical attempt to use the publicity from the lawsuit to disenfranchise minority voters.
"He wrote that Donovan's signatures on the petitions were not forged and that she has the power to designate a person to sign the documents. Like Wood, Johnston says the point is moot because the election has already started, and the Dallas County Republican Party does not have the standing to bring the suit.
"The case has been assigned to state District Judge Eric Moye, who will likely recuse himself, given his ties to the Dallas County Democratic Party. If that occurs, a visiting judge will be assigned to handle the matter."
In addition to Johnston’s filing, attorney Buck Wood filed a document late Monday on behalf of 14 of the 128 candidates, asking a Dallas County court to dismiss the case.
Democrats also say the local Republican Party can’t move to kick the candidates out of the March 6 primary because ballots have been printed and the absentee voting process started Jan. 20.
Republican attorney Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham of Dallas understands that absentee ballots have been distributed.
"She said the GOP would likely pull its temporary restraining order related to the March primary, but continue with the lawsuit to remove the Democratic Party candidates in question from the November general election," the Morning News reports.
Wood, who filed the Democrats' response earlier this week, said it's unlikely anyone would be removed from the ballot as a result of the GOP lawsuit.
Donovan published the Democrats' news release on Facebook
Statement from Dallas County Republican Chairwoman Missy Shorey
REPUBLICANS INSIST DEMOCRAT CHAIR FOLLOW ELECTION LAW: Statement from the Dallas County Republican Chairwoman Missy Shorey pic.twitter.com/m5OmCX4EhE
— Dallas County GOP (@DallasGOP) January 24, 2018