Brimer sues to boot Davis off the ballot

I thought we were done with ballot access battles. Looks like I was wrong.

State Sen. Kim Brimer, R-Fort Worth, filed a lawsuit today against Tarrant County Democratic Party Chair Steve Maxwell, Texas Democratic Party Chair Boyd Richie and his Democratic opponent Wendy Davis.

The suit requests the court to “disqualify Davis from the November 2008 general election.”

The suit follows the same line of argument as three Fort Worth firefighters charged back in January, when they alleged in a suit that Davis couldn’t run for the state senate because she didn’t officially step down from her seat on the Fort Worth City Council before filing her candidacy.

“In effect, Davis sought to become a candidate for the Legislature at the same time she continued to hold a ‘lucrative office’, exercise her duties and enjoy the benefits of office as a member of the City Council,” the suit alleges.

State election law prohibits officeholders from running for the Legislature, but state law also requires resigning officeholders to hold their seats until their successors are sworn in, according to city of Fort Worth officials.

A three-judge panel in that case ruled that the firefighters didn’t have standing to challenge Davis’ eligibility, only a political opponent did.

We asked Brimer back in February whether he would file his own suit. He wouldn’t say.

A copy of the suit is here (PDF) if any lawyers want to give it a look-see and offer an opinion; a timeline of events is here. Clearly, based on the original ruling, Brimer has a chance to win that the firefighters didn’t, since he has standing. I also think it’s pretty clear that the ethically-challenged Brimer is worried about losing this race, and is hoping to take out some insurance. I also think if he loses the court challenge he’ll suffer some blowback. But since a win means a guaranteed re-election, it’s easy to understand why he’s taking this gambit. Over to you, Tarrant County District Court. In the meantime, you can listen to my interview with Davis.

UPDATE: The Texas Blue suggests that the ruling in the Bill Dingus lawsuit bodes well for Davis.

UPDATE: Marc G has more.

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