Harris County GOP announces 2nd petition challenging election results

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Thursday, December 8, 2022
Harris County GOP announces 2nd petition challenging election results
A Republican candidate in Harris County is challenging the 2022 election results after losing back in November.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- There's a new twist in the never-ending November election. For the second time in less than a week, a Republican candidate in Harris County is challenging the results of a race they lost. Lawyers for Erin Lunceford filed a petition Wednesday requesting a new election for the 189th Judicial District Court.

The petition lists 18 examples of issues Lunceford and the Harris County Republican Party said compromised the integrity of the election in Harris County. Democrats called the challenge a cheap, political ploy. However, both sides agreed that there will be more challenges like this in the future.

"Mr. Tatum, your day of reckoning has just started," Andy Taylor, an election lawyer, said about the Harris County Elections Administrator Clifford Tatum.

Republicans are calling out mistakes Tatum made, saying he botched the security, integrity, and reliability of the outcome in the race for the 189th Judicial Court. Their list of errors included factors ABC13 has reported on, including paper and staffing shortages and the extra hour of voting a court allowed on Election Day.

Lunceford lost her race by just 2,743 votes. She claims Tatum's errors make it impossible to declare the "true winner."

"As a former judge and as a trial lawyer for 34 years, I believe you should follow the rules," Lunceford said. "This is an example of people not following rules and getting a result where we all question whether our vote mattered."

"We're going to stand by Clifford Tatum and the work that he does," Harris County Attorney Christian Menefee said.

Menefee admitted there were issues in Harris County with processing, but he said he welcomed the opportunity to defend the outcome of the election in court.

"What we're seeing is a group of losers who, instead of acknowledging they lost, are now trying to run to the courtroom and make up theories in hopes to get some things overturned. I look forward to being involved in this case and actively working to protect the votes that were cast by the people of Harris County," Menefee said.

With Harris County Democrats and Republicans on separate sides of election integrity, political experts said it's the voters who will suffer.

"It's a negative thing for our country, as well as our state. But unfortunately, given the focus of many politicians on pol talking points instead of policy, it's likely to continue with every election being disputed at least in one way or another, especially when they're relatively close or when errors occur," Mark Jones, a professor of political science at Rice University, said.

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