U.S. Sen. John Cornyn (R) said he would “not object to the certification” of states’ electors “unless substantial, new evidence is presented,” breaking with President Trump and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R). He joins U.S. Rep. Chip Roy (R-Austin) as the only members of the Texas delegation who have publicly said they would not object during tomorrow’s (Wednesday’s) joint session of Congress to count electoral votes.
“I am disappointed in the election results. Any one person’s disappointment, however, cannot and should not override the legitimate votes of millions of Americans and our duty to uphold the Constitution,” Cornyn said in a letter to supporters. “Doing so would be a violation of my oath, do irreparable harm to our great democracy and set a dangerous precedent for future elections.”
Shortly thereafter, Trump tagged Cornyn and other top Republican leaders in a tweet bemoaning “the weak and ineffective RINO section of the Republican Party.”
Cruz is leading a group of 13 senators who intend to object to certification in an effort to appoint a commission to conduct an “emergency 10-day audit” of the election results and “assess voter fraud claims on the merits.” Cornyn said he opposes Cruz’s election commission proposal.
“President Trump’s legal team filed numerous lawsuits challenging the election outcome. But none of the legal arguments or evidence presented by the President’s legal team convinced the more than 50 state and federal courts that sat in judgment,” Cornyn said. “Every single lawsuit was ultimately rejected, some on the merits, some of procedural grounds, both equally dispositive.”
As of press time, at least 11 members of the Texas delegation planned to object, or at least support the effort to object, during tomorrow’s proceedings: U.S. Reps. Jodey Arrington (R-Lubbock), Brian Babin (R-Woodville), John Carter (R-Round Rock), Louie Gohmert (R-Tyler), Lance Gooden (R-Terrell), Ronny Jackson (R-Amarillo), Troy Nehls (R-Richmond), August Pfluger (R-San Angelo), Pete Sessions (R-Waco), Randy Weber (R-Friendswood) and Ron Wright (R-Arlington).
U.S. Reps. Kevin Brady (R-The Woodlands), Michael Burgess (R-Lewisville), Michael Cloud (R-Victoria), Dan Crenshaw (R-Houston) and Roger Williams (R-Austin) signed onto a brief supporting Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton’s suit seeking to overturn other states’ elections. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case.
Among the Republican delegation, that leaves U.S. Reps. Pat Fallon (R-Prosper), Tony Gonzales (R-San Antonio), Kay Granger (R-Fort Worth), Michael McCaul (R-Austin), Roy, Van Taylor (R-Plano) and Beth Van Duyne (R-Irving) as the only ones who have not signed on to, or publicly expressed support for, either effort, as far as we can tell.
Fort Worth: Mayor Betsy Price announced she would not seek re-election to a sixth term. The former Tarrant Co. Tax-Assessor Collector was first elected in 2010 and re-elected four times, making her the longest serving mayor in the city’s history.
In a statement, Rep. Ramon Romero (D-Fort Worth) said he “can’t rule … out” a run for mayor. “It would be irresponsible for any leader of a community of color across the city to prematurely rule out a run,” he said. Romero would not be required to resign to run for city office.
Tarrant Co. Democratic Party chair Deborah Peoples announced her candidacy. Peoples finished second in the 2019 mayoral election with 42% of the vote.
Houston: The winner of a runoff election long delayed because of questions around an opponent’s eligibility is now facing questions about her own eligibility to hold the office. The city attorney’s office has been asked to review whether newly elected council member Tarsha Jackson’s residency in an annexed portion of the city makes her ineligible to serve on the city council. Jackson’s home is located within a neighborhood that appears to have been part of a “limited purpose annexation” in 2002. The city does not collect property taxes but levies sales taxes in the annexed territory. Section 43.130, Local Government Code provides that “a resident of an area annexed for limited purposes is not eligible to be a candidate for or to be elected to a municipal office.”
Dickinson: An automatic recount of a mayoral runoff that ended in a tie did not break that tie. Council member Sean Skipworth and mechanical engineer Jennifer Lawrence each received 1,010 votes in the December 15 runoff election, the same number of votes as before the recount. Skipworth led by three votes after Election Day, but a handful of provisional and absentee ballots led to the tie. A public drawing will determine the winner.
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