A Texas Supreme Court candidate has sued high court Justice Nathan Hecht and the Texas Republican Party, among others, seeking to strike Hecht’s name from the ballot.
Michele Petty, who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary for the Place 6 seat on the high court that Hecht now holds, claims Hecht’s candidacy is invalid because of alleged defects in some of the petitions required to put him on the ballot. That’s according to the May 11 petition in Michele Petty v. Texas Republican Party, et al., filed in Travis County’s 126th District Court.
The suit also names as defendants Texas Republican Party Chair Steve Munisteri and Texas Secretary of State Hope Andrade.
“I think that the bottom line is that it’s important that the judicial candidates all have to comply with the Election Code,” says Petty, a San Antonio civil-litigation solo.
Hecht, who is running unopposed in the Republican Primary, says he hasn’t been served with the suit, and he declines further comment. Munisteri and Rich Parsons, spokesman for the Texas Secretary of State’s office, each didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
Chris Elam, spokesman for the Texas Republican Party, says he’s unsure if the party or Munisteri have been served with the suit.
Petty’s petition says the Texas Election Code requires judicial candidates to collect 50 signatures from each of the state’s 14 intermediate appellate districts. She alleges some Fort Worth signatures for Hecht are “facially defective” because there were “three blanks which should have been filled out completely but were left blank.”
Petty also claims: There are defects in the affidavits of the people who circulated the signature petitions; notaries failed to comply with the Texas Government Code; and people who circulated the petitions failed to comply with a requirement to read a statement informing people that upon signing, they’d become ineligible to vote in another party’s primary and more.
Petty seeks injunctive relief to enjoin and restrain the defendants from placing Hecht’s name on the primary or general-election ballots; certifying Hecht’s candidacy; or creating and circulating election materials including Hecht.
-- Angela Morris