HOUSTON – The Texas First Court of Appeals has upheld a ruling by a lower court in the dispute over the Houston City Council District B runoff, allowing Cynthia Bailey, a convicted felon, to remain on the ballot.
In the opinion issued Tuesday, Chief Justice Sherry Radack and Justices Russell Lloyd and Julie Countiss said Renee Jefferson-Smith, who placed third in the Nov. 5 general election and contested Bailey’s eligibility, did not prove to the Houston mayor’s office that Bailey is ineligible.
The justices agreed with the lower court judge who said the mayor’s office, which is responsible for declaring a candidate ineligible, has no fact-finding authority and the documents offered by Jefferson-Smith presented a question that needed to be answered.
The justices also suggested that an injunction might be a better way for Jefferson-Smith to resolve the issue.
Bailey, who finished second in the general election, was to face the first-place finisher, Tarsha Jackson, in a runoff last December. That race was removed from the runoff ballot after Jefferson-Smith’s lawsuit.
It was not immediately clear when the District B runoff would be put to the voters.
Below is a copy of the Appeals Court ruling.