December 05, 2004
Dismissal recommended for Gallegos challenge

Sen. Jeff Wentworth, the special master for the Senate challenge against Sen. Mario Gallegos, has recommended dismissal for the challenge based on his reading of state law.

[Wentworth] based his recommendation on the qualifications for a state senator described in the state constitution and not on residency requirements outlined in the election code.

In contesting the election, Susan Delgado had contended that Gallegos lived in the 11th District, even though he represents the 6th.

"I have determined that the contestant's petition does not state the grounds necessary to maintain the contest and recommend to the Senate Committee on State Affairs that it refuse to hear testimony or other evidence presented in person by the parties," Wentworth said in a report filed with the committee Friday.


Deon Daugherty, a spokeswoman for State Affairs Chairman Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, said a meeting is tentatively scheduled to review Wentworth's report Dec. 15.

"They do have to respond in some way to the recommendation," Daugherty said.

But she said the committee can either accept Wentworth's recommendation as is or vote to proceed with the hearings.

You can just about bet your mortgage they'll accept the recommendation, as it's hard to imagine a reason otherwise. One can only hope the House challenges are this easy to deal with.

Elsewhere, Hotshot Casey examines the history of residency laws and the general tendency to overlook them. I guess the violation has to be pretty darned egregious before it becomes an issue. Gallegos is my State Senator, and until this challenge came up, I had no idea there was any question about where he lived. I think tighter requirements would be a good idea, but it's not at the top of my wish list right now.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 05, 2004 to Election 2004 | TrackBack