Former candidate files lawsuit against Hidalgo County judge, challenges election results
The runner-up in the March Democratic primary race for Hidalgo County judge is challenging the election results.
Former candidate Tania Ramirez filed a lawsuit against Richard Cortez on Wednesday, claiming a true winner cannot be declared in the race due to election code violations.
Ramirez’s attorney, Jonathon Muñoz, claims individuals were denied the right to vote, pointing to the closure of more than 20 polling locations throughout the county on Election Day.
Hidalgo County Democratic Chair Patrick Eronini previously said the closures were due to a lack of staff and inexperience with new voting machines.
“Ramirez stated that she agrees with Judge Cortez who has argued in multiple news outlets that the selection of polling locations was deliberate, that lack of ‘manpower’ was no excuse, and that such acts lead to the disenfranchisement of voters in our county,” the news release stated.
The lawsuit also alleges ballots were not properly stored or supervised, and claims illegal mail ballots were counted in favor of Cortez.
The lawsuit seeks to have the results of the election be recounted.
“Even if I don’t succeed in this lawsuit, people need to be held accountable,” Ramirez stated in the news release. “Hopefully, with this lawsuit we will have the opportunity to right some wrongs and make sure that our voters never again are denied their right to vote.”
If Ramirez’s petition prevails, a judge could declare the previous election void and order a new election, the release stated.
Cortez's campaign was not immediately available for comment.