Elections 2020JudicialStatewide NewsRepublicans File Suit to Texas Supreme Court to Remove Libertarian Candidates from Ballot

Republicans have filed an appeal to the Texas Supreme Court to remove Libertarian candidates who didn't pay filing fees from the ballot.
August 28, 2020
A week ago, a few Texas Democratic campaigns succeeded in knocking their Green Party opponents off the ballot for neither paying the required filing fees nor submitting the required number of voter signatures.

But now a bevy of Republicans are shooting for the same result, but with the Libertarian candidates in nearly 30 races across Texas. After an appeals court rejected their petition challenging the eligibility of the candidates, the plaintiffs filed another suit directly to the Texas Supreme Court.

The suit was filed against the Texas Libertarian Party by the Texas House Republican Caucus PAC on behalf of the relators.

Major-party candidates generally worry that minor parties will siphon off enough support to prevent their victory, though third-party candidates have had few successes in Texas.

A law passed last session instituted the ballot certification requirements for non-major party candidates that were not held to such a standard previously since their candidates were nominated by convention rather than electoral primary.

The Texan Tumbler

Senator Pete Flores (R-Pleasanton), State Senators Larry Taylor (R-Friendswood), and Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe); State Reps. Cody Harris (R-Palestine), Phil Stephenson (R-Wharton), Phil King (R-Weatherford), Candy Noble (R-Lucas), Dan Huberty (R-Huberty), Jim Murphy (R-Murphy), and Valoree Swanson (R-Spring); GOP candidate for State Representative Justin Berry (HD 47); GOP Congressional members Louis Gohmert (R-TX-01), Dan Crenshaw (R-TX-02), Van Taylor (R-TX-03), Michael McCaul (R-TX-10), Kay Granger (R-TX-11), Jodey Arrington (R-TX-19), Chip Roy (R-TX-21), Roger Williams (R-TX-25), Michael Cloud (R-TX-27), John Carter (R-TX-31), and Brian Babin (R-TX-35); and GOP candidates for Congress Wesley Hunt (TX-07), Troy Nehls (TX-22), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), and Genevieve Collins (TX-32).

The suit cites the decision by the Third District Court of Appeals to declare ineligible the Green Party candidates.

Statute requires the respective party to invalidate any respective candidates who fail to meet the certification requirements. But the Libertarian Party chair refused to do this, just as the Green Party chair did for their respective candidates.

The plaintiffs request from the court mandamus requiring the Libertarian Party to invalidate the respective candidates and inform the Secretary of State.

The ballot certification deadline for the Secretary of State is Friday, August 28.

Editor’s Note: An original version of this article misstated that the suit before the Texas Supreme Court was an appeal of the Appeals Court’s decision. In fact, they are separate cases.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.