Bell fundraising lawsuit to be heard in January

A busy legal calendar just got a little fuller.

Chris Bell

Chris Bell

A judge in January will hear likely mayoral candidate Chris Bell’s request to block Sylvester Turner’s plan to transfer money from his officeholder account to his mayoral account when the fundraising period opens on Feb. 1.

Judge Elizabeth Ray of Harris County’s 165th Civil Court will hear Bell’s request for a temporary injunction on Jan. 12 at 1:30 p.m. A hearing on Bell’s request for a summary judgment likely will follow later.

Turner has been open about his plan to transfer money raised for his unopposed state legislative campaign to his mayoral bid in February. While all other mayoral candidates are not allowed to raise money until then, Turner has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars this fall and can transfer the first $5,000 from each individual donor in February, according to the interpretation of Houston City Attorney Dave Feldman.

Bell disputes that finding.

See here for the background. Bell’s is one of two lawsuits filed over Houston’s campaign finance laws. That other suit argues that the blackout period itself is illegal, so someone is going to be unhappy when all is said and done. Anyway, this one will be heard the week after the Fifth Circuit action. Like I said, a busy month.

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