A hearing in downtown Houston will decide whether a Republican candidate can keep her name on the ballot in a Harris County Justice of the Peace race amid allegations of election fraud.
The court is trying to decide if several judicial candidates will be stricken from the November ballot. Their opponents allege either outright fraud or procedural violations were committed to get their names on the ballot.
The case being heard Tuesday is a request from Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace George Risner, a Democrat, to strike the name of his Republican challenger, Leonila Salazar.
The judge alleges over 300 signatures collected by Salazar's political consultant to place her name on the ballot were either forged or invalid.
Salazar says she has the 250 valid signatures needed to stay on the ballot.
During Tuesday’s hearing, Rick Owen, an assistant county attorney, took the stand to testify as to how many of those signatures his investigators have determined are admissible.
Four campaign workers hired by Salazar are also under indictment for allegedly falsifying names to get her on the ballot. At least two of them are expected to be called to the stand. Both are expected to plea the Fifth Amendment.
It's not clear when the judge will make his ruling.
There are two other cases involving state district judge races. Democratic Family Court Judge Julia Maldando is suing to remove a Democratic primary challenger, while Republican criminal court Judge Jan Crocker is asking the court to strike her Democratic challenger.
KPRC’s Phil Archer is at the hearing and will bring you the developments from court throughout the day on Local 2 News and Click2Houston.com.