Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Bexar County Primary Still March 7th

After some concerns about whether San Antonio would be able to legally hold a primary election on March 7th a judged ruled to keep the Democratic primary intact.

According to the Express-News, this past Friday, Senior District Judge Pat Priest ruled that a committee appointed by current County Chair Rudy Casias has the authority to oversee the election.

"For (an executive committee-appointed panel) to take control now would have been disruptive to the primary," said attorney Lauro Bustamante, who's representing Casias.

The temporary order also gave the executive committee the final say over the hiring of election judges and the selection of voting systems — tasks the county election department already had carried out. Worried that the order could throw the primary into chaos, county officials intervened in the case.

There were some concerns that plaintiff in the case against Casias would make an effort to seize control of the primary elections. .

Ruperto Garcia, the plaintiffs' attorney, said his clients had agreed prior to Friday's hearing not to do anything that would disrupt the primary.

"We were nervous about the primary," Garcia said, "so we came to an agreement."

The lawsuit that could have disrupted the primaries also resolved two points of contention. The 30 plaintiffs, including the two candidates for County Chair, filed to get the county parties financial records and call for monthly County Executive Committee meetings.

Priest ordered Casias, who's not seeking re-election and will leave office in early May, to hand over financial records to the executive committee by May 1.

He also called for rules that the executive committee ratified in December to be sent to the state party for adoption. The rules require the chairman to meet the CEC monthly and bars the chairman from spending on items not included in a CEC-approved budget — two points of contention in the lawsuit.

All in all, the 30 plaintiffs were able to get what they wanted and avert a crisis at the same time. The primary will be on March 7th, you can find voting information here and precinct conventions will be held at 7:15 after the primary election has ended.


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