Amidst claims of illegal signature gathering and improper mailers in an East End justice of the peace race, a visiting senior judge ruled against a Houston Independent School Board trustee in her suit against the county Democratic Party for rejecting her application to be on the primary ballot.
HISD Trustee’s Diana Davila’s lawsuit, filed last week, stated that she had submitted a petition to the Harris County Democratic Party containing 310 signatures that would qualify her to be on the ballot, but had omitted printing the name of the person circulating the petitions in an affidavit on a single line at the bottom of each petition.
The Democratic Party chairwoman rejected many of the signatures on that count. She said that she could not decipher the names registered as those collecting the signatures and said Davila could not be on the ballot.
Judge J.D. Langley conceded in a Thursday court hearing that may be a technicality, but said he was hesitant to upend the election process or reverse the Democratic Party chairwoman.
“The court should stay away from it,” Langley said.
He also cited state statute that he interpreted as Davila having passed the deadline to amend her forms.
See here for the background. I’m of two minds about this. On the one hand, it’s better to let candidates be on the ballot rather than disqualify them on small technical deficiencies in their applications. On the other hand, the requirements they have to meet are not onerous and the vast majority of candidates had no trouble with them. As noted in the story, Davila is not a first time candidate, and she knew what was needed. This isn’t that hard, and I can’t say I have a great deal of sympathy. Better luck next time.