How to lose an election and still win it

Posted on 11 May 2010 at 1:47pm
Rep. Van Taylor
Rep. Van Taylor

Van Taylor won the Republican nomination for the Texas House of Representatives District 66 seat in Plano by appealing to Tea Party supporters. He faces no opposition in the November election.

Incumbent Brian McCall resigned to become chancellor of the Texas State University System.

Taylor defeated Mabrie Jackson in the April 13 runoff. But a special election was called for May 8 to fill McCall’s seat for the rest of the current term. Taylor and Jackson both entered the special election.

After losing to Taylor in the runoff, Jackson withdrew from the special election, and Taylor was declared the winner by Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade.

However, Jackson withdrew after the deadline, and the election could not be called off.

The election was held and Jackson received more votes than Taylor.

Under Texas election law, when a candidate dies, the person who comes in second is not declared the winner. Similarly, someone who comes in second does not become the representative when the other candidate withdraws after the deadline.

In a race earlier this year, Democrat Eric Johnson was running against State Rep. Terri Hodge for the Democratic nomination in District 100. Had Hodge won the primary but then been forced to withdraw because of her felony conviction, Johnson wouldn’t have been declared the winner. Precinct chairs would have chosen the candidate for the fall election. That scenario was confirmed by the secretary of state’s office before the election.

When there is only one candidate running in a special election, the secretary of state can cancel the election and declare a winner. That happened in the case of the special election to fill Hodge’s seat. Johnson was declared the winner and Johnson was sworn into office before the May 8 election date.

In this case, the secretary of state is claiming that a candidate can withdraw even if she missed the deadline to withdraw and that these circumstances are different than when a candidate dies. And even though the election was held and the candidate that withdrew won the election, the office claims that the secretary of state’s prior declaration stands. So in this case the loser is declared the winner.

Johnson and Taylor were both sworn in on April 26.

Comments

comments

Powered by Facebook Comments