Terry Keel Likely to Have Challengers in Judicial Primary

In a blow for common sense, the Texas Supreme Court has ruled to allow Terry Keel’s opponents in the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to have more time to correct the errors in their candidacy petitions. State Rep. Terry Keel had made the sneaky move of having an election law specialist vet the petitions of his challengers (incumbent Judge Charles Holcomb and Dallas District Judge Robert Francis) to take their names off the ballot. If he had succeeded, Keel would have been the only Republican in the November election, virtually guaranteeing him a place on the court. The petitions were required by a change the Legislature made to the election code in 2003.

Keel used the challenge as a surreptitious ace in the hole, not revealing his hand until the last minute:

Wood, a partner in Austin’s Ray, Wood & Bonilla, argued on Jan. 10 that Keel hid the fact that Francis’ petitions had defects until shortly before the Jan. 2 filing deadline. “He does not have clean hands,” Wood, a partner in Austin’s Ray, Wood & Bonilla, said of Keel.

Ed Shack, one of Keel’s attorneys, testified at the hearing that Keel brought copies of Francis’ petition to him on Dec. 30. Because it was a holiday weekend, he didn’t look at the petitions until Jan. 1 and didn’t get a letter drafted to challenge Francis’ candidacy until the following day, Shack, an Austin solo, testified.

The Republican Party had refused to accept the challenge until Keel threatened to sue. Sorry, Terry. You’ll have to win the hard way now.

Comments are closed.

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.