Friday, August 20, 2010

Demo Challenger Drops Out Of State Senate Race

Top party official: "Field not level; fight not fair"

Politics won out over the letter of the law.

John Cullar withdrew from the race for State Senator inDistrict 22 during the early evening hours today.

The former McLennan County Democratic Chairman and a Wacolawyer, he gave as his chief reason the lack of time to
organize for the coming General Election contest and thefact that political contributions he might have receivedwould have been denied to Democratic candidates with betterchances of election.

His chief reason was that the 5th District Court of Appealsat Dallas refused to remove incumbent Senator Brian Birdwell from the ballot by grantina request from Mr. Cullar and the Democratic Party of Texas to issue a write of mandamus
requiring top Republican State Party officials to do so

Calling the Court decision handed down Thursday afternoon at
quitting time a "politically motivated ruling," Texas
Democratic Party spokeswoman Kirsten Gray said, "The
Republicans have done everytihng in their means to game the
system and protect an ineligible Republican officeholder. In
this race, the playing field is not level and the fight is
not fair."

Senator Birdwell voted in Virginia elections held in the
years 2004, 2005 and 2006 before returning to Texas in 2007
following an Army career which ended when he was badly
injured by burns over a very large percentage of his body in
the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon.

The Texas Constitution and the Texas Election Code require
that a candidate for State Senator have resided in this
state for a minimum of 5 years prior to the election season
in which he is seeking the office.

Former Senator David Sibley raised the same objection dur-
ing the Republican Primary seaon. His attorney asked for
a ruling from the Texas Secretary of State, who ruled that
Senator Birdwell was in fact eligible because, though he did
vote in the Virginia elections, it was always his intention
to return to his native state.

The Justices of the 5th District Court of Appeals gave
essentially the same opinion, saying that the application
for the writ did not specifically challenge the candidate's
intentions, along with other legal reasons for their denial
of the writ.

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