Monday, August 9, 2010

Birdwell Ordered To Answer Writ By August 12

Dallas -- Senator Brian Birdwell's opponent for State Senator is seeking to have him thrown off the ballot before the election on Nov. 2.

He alleges the Granbury Republican is ineligible to serve because of a murky residency record during the five years before he filed for the office.

A state appeals judge of the 5th District Court of Appeals at Dallas ordered Senator Birdwell (R-Dist. 22) of Granbury to respond to an application for mandamus relief from his opponent in the November General Election, Waco attorney and Democrat John Cullar, by close of business on August 12.

Under the order issued today, Mr. Cullar would have until close of business on August 13 to respond to the Senator's answer to his allegation that he is not eligible to hold the office.

Col. Birdwell was on military duty in Virginia during the
mandatory 5 year period prior to his filing for the office
which is required by the Texas Constitution.

Secretary of State Hope Andrade ruled in April that the
Senator's residency is satisfactory.

His opponent in a run-off election, former Senator David
Sibley, disagreed. An Austin attorney filed a protest with
the Secretary of State's office alleging that he voted in a
Presidential Primary in that state and in Texas.

Senator Birdwell says the allegation is false.

According to one of the County Repubican Chairmen who
nominated Senator Birdwell, Bosque County Chairman Dr. Tom
Bratcher of Baylor University's Statistics Program, the
chairmen of the 10 counties in the district were satisfied
that he is eligible.

Various attorneys have ventured the opinion that though a
serviceman's home state residency follows him to any duty
station, his actions while he is in other states will
determine his eligibility to register to pursue offices in
Texas when he returns.

They have produced evidence that Senator Birdwell voted in
various elections in Virginia during his sojourn there which
fell within the five years previous to his filing for the
office of state senator.

Col. Birdwell was burned over a large percentage of his body
when a jet airliner slammed into the Pentagon where he was
standing a communications watch. He has related how large
sheets of his skin peeled away and his hands "de-gloved"
when rescuers found him and loaded him onto a stretcher.

He spent a long period of convalescence in suburban Virginia
before he was discharged from active duty and returned to

Former Senator Kip Averitt resigned his nomination for the
office prior to the run-off contest between Senator Sibley
and Senator Birdwell, which gave the Democratic Party an
opportunity to field a candidate in the General Election.

The State Democratic Party of Texas is a relator in the
application for mandamus relief, along with Mr. Cullar.

He is a former McLennan County Democratic Party Chair-
man and enjoys an extensive federal practice in civil rights,
corporate and criminal law from his offices in Waco.
In an appendix to the filing, Mr. Cullar's attorneys attached
records that show Senator Birdwell voted in two 2005 elec-
tions in 2005 and the General Election in 2006 in Prince
William County, Manassas, Virginia.
"Because public records prove Brian Birdwell was a resident
of Virginia at least in Nov., 2006, he is ineligible for elec-
tion to the Texas Senate," the petition declares.

In his application for the writ, Mr. Cullar states "Should
this Court permit Mr. Birdwell's candidacy under the un-
contested facts of this case, it will have voided a provision
in the State Constitution and it will have declared Texas a
political free range where candidates from anywhere in the
state can move to another area on a whim and seek public
"Candidates from out of state can similarly come here and
seek election despite residency in other states."

1 comment:

  1. Birdwell retired in 2004 from the Army and was not active in 2006. He is not eligible and should be removed from the ballot.