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Election contests head to court

20140411 Election-contestA hearing on a plea to jurisdiction that could dismiss the election contest filed by Rey Ortiz, candidate for 92nd District Court, and Marla Cuellar, candidate for County Court-at-Law No. 8, is scheduled for today.

Attorneys for Omar Maldonado, who won the race for County Court-at-Law No. 8, and Luis Singleterry, who came out on top in the 92nd District Court race, filed motions for a plea to jurisdiction asking that the case be dismissed.

“Not a single voter has been identified as casting an improper vote (or that such improper vote was in favor of Contestee),” Maldonado’s motion states. “Nothing in the pleadings affirmatively indicate that anything improper occurred in this race.”

However, a response submitted by attorneys for both Ortiz and Cuellar stated their theory is that there was widespread electoral fraud or machine malfunctions. The document alleges that thousands of votes could have been affected or manipulated.

“Admittedly, it is hard to imagine a scenario in which this story would not sound more akin to political fiction than to reality,” the response states. “However, the novelty and uniquness of these claims in this contest does not render them non justiciable.”

Mari Regalado, who lost to Sergio Muñoz in a challenge for State Representative District 36, also filed a contest, stating, "Contestant will prove by clear and convincing evidence that a sufficient number of illegal votes were counted to affect the outcome of the election; that either through malfunction or illegal manipulation, who voted for one candidate had their votes re-cast for other candidates."

Muñoz filed a general denial of the allegations as well as a counterclaim stating that the incident Regalado refers to was a different race on the ballot, and there is no other evidence to indicate the machines malfunctioned or had been manipulated.

"Contestant has brought a fictitious suit and allegation, only for the purposes of harassment, delay and for an improper purpose," Muñoz states in his countersuit requesting attorney's fees.

Three candidates in the race for Justice of the Peace, Pct. 2 Place 2 also filed election contests: Hortencia “Tency” Martinez, Elvia Rios and Paul Vazaldua.

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CoverageAreaThe Progress Times is the hometown newspaper for the local communities of Mission, Sharyland, Alton, Palmview, La Joya and surrounding areas in Western Hidalgo County. We have a staff of veteran reporters who work diligently every week to bring our readers the latest news as it affects their hometown area and people.

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