Bell Campaign Calls Second Democrat On Ballot A “Desperate Attempt To Play Politics”
Representatives of District 17 candidate Chris Bell say the only reason Stephanie E. Simmons, a Democrat, is on the ballot for the special election to fill Kyle Janek’s seat is to confuse voters and force a runoff.
If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one of the votes Nov. 4, there will be a runoff election between the two highest vote-getters. Before Simmons’ last-minute filing, Bell was the only Democrat on the ballot.
“Their only hope of winning this race is to force a runoff, they (Republicans) can’t beat Chris Bell in November,” said Bell campaign spokesman Jason Stanford. “They’ve got to force a runoff and this is a desperate attempt to play politics with the official ballot and because the Secretary of State immediately certified the ballot, Chris Bell had no other option than to go to court today.”
Bell earlier today filed a lawsuit against the Texas Secretary of State and Simmons claiming Simmons does not meet the residency requirements to run for the office, and Bell is seeking an emergency ruling before the ballot is finalized next week.
Republicans running include businessman and former George H.W. Bush Administration appointee Austen Furse, a West University Place resident, Former Harris County felony court judge Joan Huffman, a Southside Place resident, and Harris County Republican precinct chair Grant Harpold.
On the ballot, Simmons is listed as an attorney living in Missouri City. No phone number was listed.