Have Gooden and Gray Disenfranchised Voters with Allegations of Fraud?
It seems as though District 4 State Representative Lance Gooden has stepped in “it” deeply over Easter weekend, managing to alienate in his own district, Democrats, Republicans, and an entire group of people, with allegations of vote fraud, in particular against a friend’s campaign that was determined in the Republican Primary, by one vote. The objective seems to be that Gooden receives publicity for his Fifth Congressional District (CD5) race, as he has called on authorities to investigate, and his friends have additional support and publicity for their cause, in regard to the Kaufman County Court at Law No. 1 race.
Texas law (Election Code, Sec. 233.011.) allows for a new election (and Sec. 241.022.) to be called, if fraud can be shown. This lawsuit is the next step after the Tracy Gray for Judge Campaign lost a law suit, attempting to qualify a disqualified voter in the Republican Primary, and an official recount, that did not change the vote count. The two candidates’ races (Gray and Judge Dennis Jones) remain separated by one vote.
Gooden is crying “foul,” or “wolf” in an attempt to help friends harvest an illegal vote in the Republican Primary and challenge it, so that we can all head back to the polls for this one race, for which Gooden and Gray hope to alter the final outcome. How could this be accomplished? Why, through a lawsuit, of course: Cause No. 99505-422 – Tracy Lyn Booker Gray, candidate for Kaufman County Court at Law, Contestant v. Hon. Dennis Jones, candidate for Kaufman County Court at Law, Contestee, filed in the 422nd Judicial District of Kaufman, Texas.
In the Contestant’s Original Petition, Page 3, #7, it is stated, “Because the official results of the Contested Election showed Gray’s trailing Jones by only 1 vote, if this Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that at least 1 ballot in the Contested Election was not counted in accordance with the statutes governing the use of absentee ballots in the Election Code, this Court should subtract those votes from the total if their nature can be discerned or compelled, and confirmed.”
Point #8: “If this Court cannot determine their nature, than [sic] it should hold that there were irregularities of a sufficient nature, accompanied by fraud and proof that the voter’s will has not been fairly represented, that it is necessary to declare this election void, and order the Board to hold a new Contested Election.”
Gray points to Social Worker Brenda Prince of Terrell, in the lawsuit, as being one paid to harvest votes primarily in precincts 5, 19, and 26, in south Terrell. Fifteen voters are named for the Court’s examination. These are elderly voters, living in nursing homes and assisted living, whom Prince helped with their absentee ballots, as in times past. It is legal to assist a disabled voter with their ballot, so long as the one providing assistance honestly reflects the will of the voter on their ballot. This, after a thorough examination of ballots in the recount, is where the Gray Campaign hopes to garner at least one vote, that the court may declare illegal and invalid, so that a new election will be called, since Jones won by only one vote.
Gooden has called into question the integrity of Kaufman County’s election administration officials, expressing in a March 30th communication published on his Congressional campaign web page, his disappointment “in our Republican AND [emphasis his] Democratic County Chairmen for failing to insist on integrity at the ballot box…” and calling on Attorney General Ken Paxton and Governor Greg Abbott to immediately investigate.
**Updates** at bottom of article.
Gooden also claimed to know of a history of fraud in the County, something which Republican Kaufman County Chairman Jimmy Weaver pointed out, “He has been in and out office now for three terms as a State House Representative for District 4, and has said nothing about what he claims he knew. If you know of a crime and you don’t try and report it, especially if you’re a sitting State House Legislator, then you become part of it. Hypothetically speaking, this is the same as the two guys accused of robbing a liquor store. Just because you drove the car, but didn’t go into the store, doesn’t mean you’re innocent. If you knew there was a crime, you had a responsibility to report.”
Weaver has spoken with The Northeast Texan and demanded accountability, “Mr. Gooden, if you knew anything like voter fraud was happening, you had the time, you had the money, and you certainly had the power and position to do something about it before Runoff Election time.”
Gooden is a candidate in the Runoff Election scheduled for May 22, against CD5 candidate Bunni Pounds, who is named after Billy Graham’s daughter Ruth, whom they nicknamed “Bunny.” So, the question is, does Gooden feel the need to piggyback onto another candidate’s issues to gain publicity to save his own campaign that has been weak in gathering conservative organization’s endorsements? One wonders, as he mentions three endorsements at the beginning of his “Friends” letter on his web site.
Pounds has picked up such conservative endorsements as, Texas Right to Life, Texas Eagle Forum, Texas Values, Young Conservatives of Texas, General Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council, most of her former Republican Primary challengers, and many more.
Finally, in response to Gooden’s web post, which he also shared with email recipients, Weaver said, “Mr. Gooden, you need to think real hard on the things you have said. You should issue a retraction to the Governor, Attorney General, and prepare an apology to all the hard working volunteers of the Democrat and Republican Parties. You should apologize to our Elections Administration department and our Court System for your insinuation there was wrong-doing involved in our election process.
I know that as a politician, you will use these kinds of moments for political gain, but in this case I personally believe you have falsely accused a lot of honest, hard-working volunteers.”
*Note* The Northeast Texan attempted multiple times to reach Kaufman Democrat Party Chairman Sarah Whitaker by phone, without success. However, it has been reported to The Northeast Texan, that Prince has retained legal counsel of certain notoriety.
**Update** The Northeast Texan wrote in an email to the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) on April 3, “to request all documents in reference to Rep. Lance Gooden’s request (if it exists) for an investigation into voter fraud in Kaufman County, or any city within the County, and/or in relation to the Tracy Gray for Judge Campaign for Kaufman County Court at Law No. 1.” We also asked, “Is the Attorney General’s Office investigating his claims?” And, we pointed to Mr. Gooden’s web site letter for publicity. The response from the OAG came today, April 6, as follows: The OAG has reviewed its files and has no information responsive to your request.
**Update** April 9, 2018
The Northeast Texan asked (via email) the Attorney General’s Office on April 6, 2018 in response to their above answer: “Does this mean that there is no investigation currently underway? Does it also mean that no such communication has been received by the OAG’s office from Lance Gooden in regard to his public allegations of vote fraud in Kaufman County?”
On April 9, they (OAG) responded by email: Because you included a link to Representative Gooden’s letter in your request to our office, we were under the impression you were not requesting a copy of his letter. Please find attached a copy of the Representative Gooden’s letter. — This was the same letter that is posted above, addressed to Gov. Abbott and AG Paxton.