Rep. Terri Hodge withdrew from the primary for reelection to her House seat and pleaded guilty to a charge of not reporting about $75,000 in income on Wednesday. Her trial would have started six days after the primary.
The district encompasses parts of Oak Lawn, including the southwest side of Cedar Springs Road.
Stonewall Democrats president Erin Moore said, “We’re sorry to have this happen. She’s been a great advocate for our causes, but she needs to take care of her personal matters.”
For the primary, Stonewall endorsed Hodge. Although it is a procedural matter, Moore said that the board would meet to discuss what happens with that endorsement. She could not change or rescind the endorsement herself.
Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance president Patti Fink said, “I think it’s a sad day for our community because she’s been such an amazing advocate for us in the House.”
Paul Scott, executive director of Equality Texas, said, “We have worked with Terri and she has been supportive and receptive during her tenure. She was supportive of the Resource Center, which was in her district. We look forward to continued support from Eric Johnson or whoever replaces her.”
Scott is the former executive director of Resource Center Dallas. Johnson’s wife, Nakita, is on the board of Resource Center Dallas.
Hodge opponent Johnson could not appear for his Stonewall candidates’ screening and was therefore not considered for the group’s endorsement. In April, new endorsements for the general election will be made.
Johnson posted on Instant Tea, “The LGBT community can count on my support. I may not be family, but I am sure a friend. That goes for my wife, too. Now let’s go out and win this election on March 2nd!”
In a written statement, Johnson thanked Hodge for her service and said he hoped the district would come together.
“Now is the time for us to put aside past differences and restore the public’s trust in our ability to govern according to Democratic principles. It is my sincere hope that in response to today’s events, we will come together as a party, as a district, and as a city to achieve the improvements House District 100 so desperately needs,” he said.
With Hodge’s withdrawal from the race, Johnson does not automatically become the nominee.
Hodge’s name will not be removed from the primary ballot. If she wins the most votes in this race, the precinct chairs from District 100 will choose the candidate. They may choose Johnson or they could select someone else to run in November.
That person will become the representative because there is no Republican challenger in the race.
Before the resignation, Johnson campaign manager Juan Ayala said he had spoken to many precinct chairs in the district and was confident that Johnson would be named, if he did not win the primary. Ayala is gay and is a former Stonewall Democrats board member.
Last week, Dallas Voice reported that if Hodge won her primary, the district could go without representation next session.
That scenario would happen if Hodge were convicted but there was no final disposition of the case before Aug. 20 and she did not withdraw before that date. In November, Hodge would be declared the winner, and probably not seated by the House. The governor would call a special election and the district would go unrepresented until the election was held.
The Dallas Morning News claimed that was incorrect and that precinct chairs could replace the candidate at any time. The Secretary of State agreed with Dallas Voice.