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Texas Supreme Court Dismisses Republican Suit To Remove Libertarian Candidates From November Ballot

The Texas Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a suit filed by Texas Republicans to kick Libertarian candidates off the ballot. Nearly two dozen Republican candidates – including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick – had attempted to have their Libertarian opponents removed from the November ballot, arguing that the candidates should be disqualified because they failed to pay their filing fees or gather the required number of petition signatures. The case was dismissed because, for the second straight election cycle, it had not been filed in time.

“When the emergency timeframe is entirely the product of avoidable delay in bringing the matter to the courts, our precedent is clear that judicial relief altering the conduct of an election is disfavored,” said the court’s opinion. 

The legal maneuvering was directed at 23 Libertarian candidates and was based on a 2019 state law that requires third-party candidates to pay the same filing fee as Republicans and Democrats or collect the same number of petition signatures to get on the ballot. 

Republicans also filed too late in 2020 when they unsuccessfully sought to remove 44 Libertarian candidates from the ballot.

Republican candidates are concerned that Libertarian candidates may take votes away from them, potentially swinging the election to Democrats in close races. By the same token, Democrats unsuccessfully attempted to have three Green Party candidates ruled ineligible in 2020.

The attempts to purge third-party candidates are symptomatic of increasingly competitive election cycles in Texas. 

Nick Anderson
Nick Anderson
Writer, editor, photographer and editorial cartoonist Nick Anderson has joined the Reform Austin newsroom, where he will employ the artistic skill and political insights that earned a Pulitzer Prize to drive coverage of Texas government. As managing editor, Anderson is responsible for guiding Reform Austin’s efforts to give readers the unfiltered facts they need to hold Texas leaders accountable. Anderson’s original cartoons will be a regular feature on RA News. “Reform Austin readers understand the consequences of electing politicians who use ideological agendas to divide us, when they should be doing the hard work necessary to make our state government work for everyone,” Anderson said. “As a veteran journalist, I’m excited about Reform Austin’s potential to re-focus conversations on the issues that matter to common-sense Texans – like protecting our neighborhoods from increasingly common disasters, healthcare, just to name a few.” Anderson worked for the Houston Chronicle, the largest newspaper in Texas, from 2006 until 2017. In addition to the Pulitzer, Anderson earned the Society of Professional Journalists’ Sigma Delta Chi Award. He’s also a two-time winner of Columbia College’s Fischetti Award, and the National Press Foundation’s Berryman Award. Anderson’s cartoons have been published in Newsweek, the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and other papers. In 2005, Anderson won the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning while working for the Courier-Journal in Louisville, Kentucky. The judges complimented his “unusual graphic style that produced extraordinarily thoughtful and powerful messages.”


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