Dallas County Republicans have filed a lawsuit to have 128 Democrats kicked off the March 6 primary ballot. The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County late Friday, contends that Dallas County Democratic Party Chairman Carol Donovan didn't sign the petitions ...and more »
Updated at 10:30 p.m. with additional information.
Dallas County Republicans have filed a lawsuit to have 128 Democrats kicked off the March 6 primary ballot.
The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County late Friday, contends that Dallas County Democratic Party Chairman Carol Donovan didn't sign the petitions of 128 Democratic Party candidates before sending them to the Texas Secretary of State's office, as required by law.
"The Election Code says the chairman, and nobody else, has to sign them," said Elizabeth Alvarez Bingham, a lawyer for the Dallas County Republican Party. "Carol Donovan is the chair. She was supposed to sign them. She didn't do it."
The news stunned some Democrats after a lawyer for their party notified them of the lawsuit Sunday afternoon.
"We have assembled a legal team of Dallas' best and brightest Democratic election law attorneys," Donovan said late Sunday in a news release. "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."
"This is just Republican shenanigans," said state Sen. Royce West, one of the names Republicans want tossed off the ballot. "Republicans are trying to drive a wedge in the Democratic Party because they can't be competitive in the county."
But Bingham said West should't criticize Republicans for the failure of their local party leaders to do their jobs.
If the GOP lawsuit is successful in getting the Democracts kicked off the ballot, Republicans could have clear paths to victory in dozens of general election races in November.
According to the lawsuit, only a fraction of the candidate petitions approved by Donovan actually contained a signature by her hand. The GOP lawsuit alleges Donovan's signature on other petitions was not hers.
At least seven ballot petitions from Democratic candidates have been challenged, both by Republicans and other Democrats.
"We didn't do this as election strategy. It's our job to follow the election code," she said. "Their candidates should not be upset with us. They should be upset with the Dallas County Democratic Party."
"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 candidates."
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