Democrats swept the November elections in Harris County. Now, in the wake of problems at many polling locations on Election Day, nearly two dozen Republican candidates are seeking a do over. But a surge in registration and long-term demographic trends both gave the Democrats an edge that new elections likely would not erase.
Ask Cindy Siegel, chair of the Harris County Republican Party, why there was a blue wave last November, and she’ll tell you the elections weren’t fairly run. She points to problems on Election Day, notably shortages of paper ballots, which she claims hurt Republican voters.
“We believe that based upon voters being turned away in Republican stronghold areas like up in the north and northwest, that these areas that we know for a fact that those people would probably be voting for Republicans,” Siegel said.
Twenty-one candidates are now challenging their losses — the 22nd, Mike May’s challenge to State Rep. Jon Rosenthal, was dismissed by House Speaker Dade Phelan shortly after the start of the 88th Texas Legislature.
The highest profile challenge is that of Alexandra del Moral Mealer, who lost to incumbent County Judge Lina Hidalgo by just over 18,000 votes out of more than 1 million cast.
The following information comes from the Harris County Attorney’s Office, based on information derived from the Harris County District Clerk’s website:
|CONTESTANT||CONTESTEE||RACE||COURT FILED IN||CONTESTANT’S COUNSEL|
|Alexandra del Moral Mealer||Judge Lina Hidalgo||Harris County Judge||113d||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Mark Montgomery||Judge Kelley Andrews||Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 6||133d||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Matthew Dexter||Judge Genesis Draper||Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 12||215||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Brian Staley||Judge Manpreet Monica Singh||Harris County Civil County Court at Law No. 4||55||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Mark Goldberg||Judge Erika Ramirez||Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 8||113||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Bruce Bain||Judge Cory Sepolio||269th District Court||157||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Elizabeth Buss||David Fleischer||Harris County Criminal Court at Law No. 5||129||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Chris Daniel||Marilyn Burgess||Harris County District Clerk||190||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Michelle Fraga||Christine Weems||281st District Court||333||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Tami Pierce||DaSean Jones||180th District Court||165||pro se/Paul Simpson|
|Nile Copeland||Judge Latosha Lewis Payne||55th District Court of Harris County||270||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Mike May||Representative Jon Rosenthal||State Representative District 135||State House||pro se (DISMISSED)|
|Erin Lunceford||Judge Tamika Craft||189th District Court||164||Andy Taylor|
|Rory R. Olsen||Jason Cox||Probate Court No. 3||165||Jared Woodfill|
|James Lombardino||Audrie Lawton-Evans||Harris County Civil Court at Law No. 1||295||Jared Woodfill|
|Sartaj Bal||Judge Toria J. Finch||Harris County Criminal Court at law No. 9||334||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Will Archer||James Horwitz||Harris County Probate Court No. 4||80th||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Kyle Scott||Carla Wyatt||Harris County Treasurer||281||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Dan Spjut||Juanita Jackson||Criminal Court at Law No. 10||295||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Aaron Adams||LaShawn Williams||Civil Court at Law No. 3||269||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Dan Simmons||Sedrick Walker||Criminal Court at Law No. 11||165||Elizabeth Alvarez|
|Stan Stanart||Teneshia Hudspeth||County Clerk||270||Elizabeth Alvarez|
“There were many of them that were very within two points that we lost by, particularly with the judicial candidates. And what we’re hoping is that the courts will allow for a new election in those races,” Siegel said.