The Chron notes an impeding court case resulting from a primary ballot disqualification.
An Amarillo school board member who was disqualified in a bid to challenge a powerful House member took her fight to get on the Republican ballot to the Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday.
Anette Carlisle was disqualified from the March primary ballot last week by state GOP Chairwoman Tina Benkiser, who cited a provision in the Texas Constitution that prevents any person holding a "lucrative office" from running for the Legislature.
Though school board members by state law cannot be paid, some are allowed to collect per diem for their travel. Benkiser referenced the Amarillo district's policy allowing trustees to be reimbursed for lodging and meals at the rate established by the state for key officials.
In her petition to the high court, Carlisle argues that reimbursement for expenses alone does not render an office lucrative.
"Even if there is evidence that (Carlisle) received some sort of flat rate or per diem to cover travel expenses, the actual expenses greatly exceeded any reimbursement she received," the petition states.
There's also a question of consistency.
Several members serving in the Legislature ran from positions as school board members. Rep. Rob Eissler, R-The Woodlands, said he was a member of the Conroe school board when he ran for the House in 2002.
He said lawyers advised him he would not be disqualified because the only money he had received from the district was reimbursement for actual expenses.
"It's a gray area," said Eissler, who resigned from the school board in November 2002 after winning election.
Adding to the confusion, the state and Montgomery County Republican parties reached opposite conclusions concerning two legislative candidates who serve on a groundwater conservation district board.
The Texas GOP disqualified Conroe-area businessman David Kleimann from the race for Senate District 3, but county Chairman Wally Wilkerson Jr. said he decided that Brandon Creighton could remain on the ballot for House District 16.
"After speaking to lawyers over the weekend, no one lawyer agreed with the other. For that reason, I gave the benefit of the doubt to the candidate and ruled he was eligible," Wilkerson said.
Amusing side note:
In another strange candidate filing story, an attorney for Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn misspelled her last name twice when submitting a declaration of her intent to run as an independent candidate for governor. Prominent Austin lawyer Roy Minton said he was responsible for dropping the "y" in Strayhorn on the paperwork.
And finally, another court case:
Ballot challenges also have been used in judicial races this year. Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Charles Holcomb was disqualified in his bid to seek re-election because he failed to get sufficient signatures on a petition to place his name on the ballot for another term.
Holcomb said Wednesday that he will go to court to try to keep his candidacy alive.
His GOP opponent, state Rep. Terry Keel, challenged Holcomb's petitions as well as defects in petitions submitted by another candidate for the same seat, state District Judge Robert Francis of Dallas. A state district judge in Travis County ruled Tuesday that Francis should not be on the ballot.
Some candidates complained that ballot applications for Texas' judicial races have become so long and unwieldy that the possibilities for error are endless. On each page is a litany of blank spaces and boxes that require signatures, office names and numbers, dates and notarized stamps. Candidates must gather signatures from at least 50 voters in each of the state's 14 appellate court districts.
The ballot application submitted by Texas Supreme Court Justice Don R. Willett was 373 pages. Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson's ran 204 pages.