Alexandra del Moral Mealer, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s former Republican opponent, dropped her lawsuit challenging the results of the election she lost last November by over 18,000 votes, according to court documents filed Thursday.
Mealer filed an election contest lawsuit on Jan. 6, one of 22 similar cases brought by GOP candidates in Harris County.
Mealer explained her decision in a statement Thursday.
“My goal in filing an election contest was not to relitigate my race,” Mealer said, “but rather to make sure future races are fair to all voters and candidates. To this end, I sought to uncover all the data and records I could that relate to the November 2022 election.” Mealer added that she plans to advocate for changes to the Texas Election Code regarding public access to data.
Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee called Mealer’s lawsuit a “waste of time and resources.”
“She didn’t win the election and she wasn’t going to win the election contest, yet she insisted on continuing to spread conspiracy theories in an attempt to overturn the will of the voters,” Menefee said in a statement Thursday. “It’s time for the other losing Republican candidates to drop their lawsuits as well.”
Mealer’s former legal counsel, Elizabeth Alvarez, filed a letter last month with the court saying she did not support Mealer’s recent claims of ballot fraud. Mealer denied that her allegations about the election were a matter of ballot fraud.
Hidalgo’s attorney, Neal Manne, criticized Mealer on Thursday for failing to identify a single voter who was unable to cast a ballot.
“The lawsuit was frivolous when she filed it, and she has wasted a tremendous amount of the County’s and the Court’s time before finally acknowledging tonight that there is no evidence to support her outlandish claims,” Manne said in a statement.
Manne added that his firm represented Hidalgo pro bono.
“We will continue to provide free representation to other candidates whose electoral victories are being challenged in lawsuits that really are just cynical political stunts,” Manne said.
Sartaj Bal, another GOP candidate, also dropped his lawsuit Thursday.
Last month, the first election challenge went to trial in a lawsuit brought by Erin Lunceford, who lost her race to incumbent 189th District Judge Tamika Craft by 2,743 votes, a far narrower margin than Mealer’s.
Craft’s attorneys provided the judge with an email Bal sent to party leadership before filing his lawsuit, questioning whether they would have enough evidence to win a new election.
“Again, we have zero admissible evidence in our possession at this time and in my opinion it’s game over until we do — if we ever do,” Bal wrote.
See here for more on the original election contests, here for more on the one contest that has had a court hearing, and here for more on the first of now-three lawsuits that have been dropped. I think you know how I feel about M****r and her bullshit by now, so I’m just going to leave it there. May I never have to see or hear her cursed name again. Reform Austin and the Press have more.