The date of Houston’s stalled city council District B runoff is again in question after the third-place finisher in the race moved forward with an appeal of a court order earlier this month that the runoff go on without her.
The runoff, currently scheduled for May 2, could be delayed if a ruling is not final by March 9. The election was pulled from the Dec. 14 ballot, when a dozen other city runoffs were decided, because of the litigation.
Lawyers for Renee Jefferson-Smith previously indicated they had not decided whether to pursue an appeal of Visiting Judge Grant Dorfman’s ruling that the runoff between the top two vote-getters in the November election, Tarsha Jackson and Cynthia Bailey, should go forward.
On Thursday, however, Jefferson-Smith’s legal team filed what is called a docketing statement with the appeals court, indicating they were moving forward.
“We will request that the Court stay the City of Houston Election for City Council Member for District B pending appeal pursuant to” the Texas Election Code, the filing said. It listed a lawyer not previously involved in the case, Dorsey Carson, Jr., as lead attorney.
Jackson said she thinks Jefferson-Smith and her backers are just trying to delay the election at this point, and she called on leaders to do something to stop the delays.
“This appeal is not fair to the people of District B, it’s not fair to me and the other 12 candidates who ran to represent District B,” she said.
See here for the previous update. I suppose leaders could try to pressure Renee Jefferson-Smith into dropping the appeal, but you’d think if that might have worked she wouldn’t have filed it in the first place. At this point, a fast ruling from the court is the best bet. What a freaking mess this has been.