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Texas Democrats Drop Lawsuit To Keep Farenthold On 2018 Republican Primary Ballot

Office of Congressman Blake Farenthold

Updated at 5:15 p.m. with the Texas Democratic Party dropping its lawsuit. Updates throughout.

The Texas Democratic Party dropped its lawsuit against the Republican Party of Texas and the Secretary of State's office after a U.S. district judge in Austin denied the party's request for a temporary restraining order to keep the state from submitting a final list of 2018 primary candidates, minus embattled Congressman Blake Farenthold. 




Despite Farenthold missing the deadline to withdraw from the race, the Republican Party moved to sidestep the state rule by simply excluding his name from its list of eligible candidates. 

The federal court said it would revisit the issue in the coming weeks, but when faced with deadlines for counties to begin printing ballots, Texas Democrats dropped the lawsuit.

Original story

Think the effort to remove embattled Congressman Blake Farenthold’s name from the 2018 primary ballot is over? Not so fast, says Texas Democrats, who have filed suit to keep the Corpus Christi Republican on the ballot.

Farenthold, succumbing to public pressure related to sexual harassment accusations, announced he would not be running in the 2018 primary election, but he missed the state deadline to remove himself from the ballot.

Republican Party of Texas first sued the state to keep Farenthold’s name off the ballot but then dropped its lawsuit when it was determined the party could just simply exclude his name.

Now the Texas Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit against the state Republican Party and Secretary of State to make sure that Farenthold’s name remains on the ballot.

Manny Garcia, the Texas Democratic Party’s deputy executive director, said the state Democratic Party is harmed when other political parties are allowed to operate under a different set of rules.

“The Republican Party decided it was going to omit somebody from the ballot who had properly filed. And they decided that they can associate themselves or not associate with whomever they want and that really sets a dangerous precedent for political parties,” Garcia said.

In a similar move, the Texas Democratic Party successfully sued the state in 2006 to make sure then-Congressman Tom DeLay, who was facing a criminal investigation related to money laundering and campaign finance laws, remained on the ballot. DeLay was later convicted for election violations.

  • MORE | Read the entire lawsuit, which was eventually dropped

Ryan Poppe can be reached at rpoppe@tpr.org or on Twitter at @RyanPoppe1