Martin Files Emergency Petition to 12th Court of Appeals to Declare Brumbelow Ineligible
The campaign for 294th District Court has reached a new divide. Some would call it a peak, while others would say it has come to an all-time low point. However voters may see it, whichever side one may be on, the 12th Court of Appeals will now enter the scene, as candidate Chris Martin (current Van Zandt County Criminal District Attorney) has filed an Emergency Petition for Writ of Mandamus – Texas Election Code, filed May 8, 2018, in an effort to force Van Zandt County Republican Chairman Lance Lenz to declare 294th District Court candidate Tina Brumbelow ineligible for the Runoff Election, which is set for May 22, although early voting begins next week, May 14.
On page 14 of the petition, the Conclusion & Prayer reads (bold emphasis, The Northeast Texan’s):
Relator seeks a writ of mandamus directed to Respondent Lance Lenz, Chairman of the Van Zandt County Republican Party, ordering him to immediately declare Real Party in Interest, Tina Marie High Brumbelow, ineligible to be a candidate, or the Republican Party’s nominee for the office of 294th Judicial District Court for the State of Texas, Van Zandt County, Texas; to certify in writing the declaration of ineligibility to the canvassing authority, as the case may be; and, to give written notice of the declaration of ineligibility to the Real Party in Interest before early voting by personal appearance begins on May 14, 2018, or, in the alternative, no later than after the polls close on election day, May 22, 2018, and before the certificate of election is issued. Relator also prays for such other and further relief as is just.
Read the Petition: 2018-05-08 Petition for Writ of Mandamus
At 4:16 this afternoon, Lenz received the following message from the Secretary of State’s Office (bold emphasis, The Northeast Texan’s):
Hi Mr. Lenz,
I apologize for there not being a response yet. Our advice from the Texas Secretary of State is that the candidate remain on the ballot and not be declared ineligible. Our office’s recommendation is that the candidate is eligible at this point. Section 141.001 states a candidate would need to be a registered voter on 12/11/17 of the filling deadline, however since this was not caught then and since the candidate was on the primary election ballot and on the primary run off ballot it would be disenfranchising voters to declare the candidate ineligible at this point. Our office recommendation is that you leave the candidate on the ballot and if she were to win even at the point not to declare her ineligible. If you look at the bill, there is a kind of second deadline in Gov’t Code, in time to be sworn in. Given that second deadline, we think it unlikely that a court would rule against a candidate once they made it this far (on the ballot, past time to take them off) but they are registered in time to be sworn in.
601.009 ELECTED OFFICER MUST BE REGISTERED VOTER. (a) A person may not qualify for a public elective office unless the person is a registered voter.
(b) Subsection (a) does not apply to an office for which the federal or state constitution prescribes exclusive qualification requirements.
(c) Subsection (a) does not apply to a member of the governing body of a district created under Section 52
<http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/GetStatute.aspx?Code=CN&Value=3.52>(b)(1) or (2), Article III, or Section 59
<http://www.statutes.legis.state.tx.us/GetStatute.aspx?Code=CN&Value=16.59>, Article XVI, Texas Constitution.
Added by Acts 2015, 84th Leg., R.S., Ch. 504 (H.B. 484 <http://www.legis.state.tx.us/tlodocs/84R/billtext/html/HB00484F.HTM>), Sec. 2, eff. September 1, 2015.