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Judge to rule with Team Liberty in La Joya ISD election contest

It appears Team Liberty candidates in the most recent La Joya ISD election will be keeping their seats.

Visiting Judge J. Bonner Dorsey, who presided over an election contest in mid-January, sent a letter this week to Team Liberty attorney Gilbert Hinojosa.

20150213 TeamLiberty“I am prepared to render judgment in favor of the Contestees/Defendants in the above styled election contest,” the letter states.

The election contest was filed days after the election in November by Attorney Javier Peña, who represents The Diamond Pack – which includes Victoria Cantu, Irma Linda Villarreal-Veloz and Fernando Torres. In the 2014 election, the three candidates lost to three incumbents on La Joya Independent School District’s school board, dubbed Team Liberty – Johnn Alaniz, Juan Jose “J.J.” Garza and Juan Jose “J.J.” Peña.

Javier Peña did not immediately return messages for comment.

The election contest alleged a politiquera, on behalf of Team Liberty paid two Mission postal workers for lists of residents in the area who receive mail-in ballots. The lawsuit stated there is audio of one of the mailmen giving the list to a politiquera as well as video of the same mailman at Team Liberty headquarters. The lawsuit also alleged voters were improperly assisted at the polling locations

It asks Hinojosa to prepare a judgment for Dorsey to sign.

“I am glad the judge ruled in our favor and we can put this behind us,” Alaniz said about the ruling. “I didn’t think there was anything there to begin with. I don’t think it should have gone this far.”

And Garza said their supporters were more worried than he was about the lawsuit.

“It was just a waste of time and money,” he said.

J.J. Peña thanked everyone who supported the group, and said of course they are happy about the outcome.

“We never doubted it one bit. We knew it was a frivolous lawsuit to begin with,” Peña said.

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