Frederick Frazier, the Republican nominee for HD61 open (Likely R), has been indicted by a Collin Co. grand jury on two felony counts of impersonating a public servant. He was placed on administrative leave by the Dallas police department.
The charges arose from a Texas Dept. of Public Safety investigation into the removal of campaign signs belonging to Frazier’s runoff opponent Paul Chabot at the request of a city “code inspector.” Frazier defeated Chabot, 64%-36%, in the May runoff election.
“This accusation that a public servant impersonated another public servant with less power and responsibilities defies logic and will not hold up in court,” said Robert Rogers, an attorney representing Frazier.
He faces Democrat Sheena King in the general election.
Redistricting: The Texas Supreme Court issued a mostly procedural ruling in the combined suits challenging aspects of last year’s redrawing of legislative districts:
- Plaintiffs’ claims are not moot even though “the likelihood of obtaining judicial relief that would disturb the general election is exceedingly low”
- MALC lacks “associational standing to bring its claims [and] … its claims must be dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction”
- The Gutierrez plaintiffs “failed to meet the traceability element of standing” because they sued the state, which “itself has no enforcement authority with respect to election laws” – however, those plaintiffs have the “opportunity to amend” that defect
- Several claims are barred by sovereign immunity; and
- Former legislative candidate Ruben Cortez Jr.’s claim is not barred by sovereign immunity.
The Court dismissed MALC’s claims and remanded Cortez’s claim to district court.
The Court’s “advisory opinion is premature, as if further action by the district court to declare and enjoin hypothetical legislation that may never happen,” wrote Justice Nathan Hecht (R) in a dissent joined by Justices Jimmy Blacklock (R) and Jeff Boyd (R). “There is no real chance that today’s decision will ever affect an election. It does not affect the 2022 election, and it is highly unlikely it will affect the 2024 election.” Hecht argued the “Court should order the case dismissed for want of jurisdiction” rather than remand portions of it to district court.
Republican Party: “Protect our Elections” was chosen the top legislative priority by convention delegates out of a list of 15 topics selected by the Legislative Priorities Committee. The topic includes:
- Restoring felony penalties and enacting new civil penalties for Election Code violations
- Giving “any Texas jurisdiction, including the Texas Attorney General” enforcement authority over the Election Code
- Requiring citizenship verification “of each voter”
- Restricting absentee voting to “only disabled, military and citizens that are out of the country”
- Reducing the time for early voting and eliminating the three-day gap between the end of early voting and Election Day (This gap typically falls on a Saturday, Sunday and Monday)
- Establishing closed primaries; and
- Ensures the security of elections “as technology evolves.”
That this would be delegates’ highest priority is unsurprising given that they approved a platform resolution rejecting the results of the 2020 presidential election based, without evidence, on “substantial election fraud in key metropolitan areas.”
The party also released results of a straw poll of 2,701 convention delegates showing former President Trump (54%) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (30%) are runaway favorites for the 2024 presidential nomination, well ahead of U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (4%) and Gov. Greg Abbott (1%). Without Trump in the field, DeSantis is the favorite of 71% of delegates followed by Cruz (9%). Abbott remains at 1% support without Trump in the field.
Despite the lack of support for the presidential nomination, Cruz is highly favorably regarded by convention delegates (87/5) while U.S. Sen. John Cornyn is highly unfavorably regarded (16/67).
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