That’s the subject of the following email I got in my inbox yesterday, and I can’t do any better than that for a post title.
Additional Losing Candidates File Election Contests in Harris County
Houston, Texas – Today, several losing Republican candidates filed election contests to void the more than 1 million votes cast in Harris County’s November 2022 election. Thus far, the Harris County Attorney’s Office has identified filings by (and we expect more filings to be made today):
- Mark Montgomery, former candidate for Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 6 (lost to Judge Kelley Andrews)
- Matthew Dexter, former candidate for Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 12 (lost to Judge Genesis Draper)
- Brian Staley, former candidate for Harris County Civil County Court at Law No. 4. (lost to Judge Manpreet Monica Singh)
- Mark Goldberg, former candidate for Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 8 (lost to Judge Erika Ramirez)
- Bruce Bain, former candidate for the 269th District Court (lost to Judge Cory Sepolio)
- Michelle Fraga, former candidate for the 281st District Court (lost to Judge Christine Weems)
- Elizabeth Buss, former candidate for the Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 5 (lost to Judge David Fleischer)
- Chris Daniel, former candidate for Harris County District Clerk (lost to Marilyn Burgess)
These filings are in addition to previously announced contests by:
- Erin Lunceford, former candidate for the 189th District Court (lost to Judge Tamika Craft)
- Tami Pierce, former candidate for the 180th District Court (lost to Judge DaSean Jones)
- Alexandra Mealer, former candidate for Harris County Judge (lost to Judge Lina Hidalgo)
- Mike May, former candidate for State Representative District 135 (lost to Representative Jon Rosenthal)
Below is the statement from the County Attorney released this morning:
“This is a shameful attempt by a group of losing candidates who couldn’t win the hearts and minds of Harris County voters and are now throwing nonsensical legal theories at the wall to see what sticks. Each of them should be deeply embarrassed and these claims should not be taken seriously by the public,” said Harris County Attorney Christian D. Menefee. “These losing candidates are finally laying bare what we all know to be true – for them, it’s not about improving elections or making sure our elections are secure, it’s about playing games with our democratic systems and refusing to accept the will of the voters.”
The contests being filed request that the more than one million votes cast in Harris County be voided and the county hold another election for the races being challenged (e.g., Harris County Judge, 189th District Court, 180th District Court, etc.).
“These election contests are frivolous attempts to overturn the votes of more than a million residents in the third largest county in the country. The county will now have to spend substantial resources handling these contests, time that could instead be spent serving the people of Harris County,” added County Attorney Menefee. “Voters have moved on. Public servants have moved on. These losing candidates should move on too.”
See here and here for the background. The judge in the Lunceford contest was assigned on December 13, I don’t know what has happened since then. I do know that at least one more loser has filed a loser’s contest, but I don’t care to give any of this any more validity. You can read the Chron story here and their explainer about election contests here. I think the Trib story contains the most relevant bit of information:
The Election Day problems were unlikely to have been substantial enough to swing the results of the Harris County judge’s race, according to Bob Stein, a political science professor at Rice University.
Nearly 70% of voters cast their ballots during the early voting period, but Mealer only cites issues on Election Day itself.
“I’m extremely doubtful that there is a legitimate legal challenge here,” Stein said. “It’s not like voters were told they couldn’t vote or that they had to go home. They were discouraged because the lines were long, or because they were told they’d have to wait.”
Those challenges do not amount to voter suppression, Stein said, but merely suggest that Harris County should operate fewer, better-resourced polling locations.
To make its case, Mealer’s legal team will have to find evidence that more than 18,000 voters were unable to cast ballots on Election Day, and that all of those voters planned to vote for Mealer, Stein said.
And every voter who might have been discouraged by issues at one location could have gone to another one, which would have been at most a couple of minutes away by car. Even at the highest end of the estimate of locations that had issues, more than 90% of them did not. We have multiple locations at which anyone can vote precisely as a hedge against problems at any one specific location. In the old days, when you had to vote at your precinct location, you really were screwed. Now you can just go somewhere else. Even in the case of the loser who lost to DaSean Jones by 449 votes, it’s extremely hard to imagine there could have been enough people who encountered problems and could not vote anywhere else and would have voted for the loser to make a difference. This is all bullshit and should be seen as such. Campos and the Texas Signal have more.