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HISD candidate sues to get back on the ballot

I missed this when it first happened.

Anthony Madry

Anthony Madry, a former administrator in the Houston Independent School District, filed a petition with the 14th Court of Appeals this week after HISD rejected his application to run for the school board.

A manager in the school board office, Veronica Mabasa, sent Madry a letter, dated Aug. 28, that she was rejecting his application under the state’s election law because it was incomplete.

Madry did not list the specific board seat that he was seeking on the application.

In his petition, Madry argued that he should have been given a chance to correct the omission. He submitted his application to the HISD board office on Aug. 21, five days before the filing deadline of Aug. 26.

State law says that applications must be reviewed within five days. The fifth day was the day of the filing deadline.

Attorneys for HISD said the district was correct in dismissing Madry’s application.

“Mr. Madry’s failure to identify the office he wished to run for, combined with his decision to file close to the filing deadline, is the reason that his application was properly rejected as required by law,” attorneys David Thompson and Lisa McBride said Thursday.

I generally don’t have a whole lot of sympathy for the candidate in these situations. The filing form is not complicated, and it’s not too much to ask to get it filled out correctly. Anthony Madry’s voter registration card lists him in HISD district 6. This is something a would-be candidate ought to know. And if state law gives school districts up to five days to review candidate filings, then it’s on the candidate to get those filings in more than five days before the deadline if they want to have a chance to fix any mistakes they might have missed. To the best of my recollection, previous candidates that have been disqualified for messing up their paperwork too close to the deadline have had no luck with the courts, but we’ll see. Here’s the court case information, if any lawyers want to armchair-quarterback it.

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