March 26, 2014
By Richard Ray
One of the surprises on primary election night was the defeat of longtime Fort Worth Democrat Lon Burnam in Texas House District 90.
But now, Burnam has filed suit, seeking to overturn the win of Ramon Romero.
With 18 years in the Texas House, Burnam was one of just a handful of Anglo Democrats still serving in Austin, until he was defeated in the primary election by Ramon Romero — a business owner and relative unknown.
Romero’s margin was just 111 votes, and according to a lawsuit filed by Burnam, possibly fueled by a series of illegal write-in ballots.
“You cannot use a digital or electronic signature,” said Art Bender, Burnam’s attorney.
Bender says they have multiple complaints from citizens who were approached about signing their mail-in absentee ballots electronically.
“They were obtaining these on iPads or some sort of electronic devices and then trying to convert them into a fax, and the code prohibits that,” said Bender.
“There has to be enough illegally cast votes that would change the election,” said Bender. “We think there are.”
“Apparently there were some workers for other campaigns that developed an app for people to sign,” said Francisco Hernandez, Romero’s attorney.
Romero’s attorney says his client is out of town and unavailable for comment. He doesn’t dispute that somebody was gathering write-in ballot signatures electronically, but not Romero’s campaign.
“He did not do it,” said Hernandez. “Ran a clean campaign. Won it fair and square.”
In House District 90, the Democratic primary winner, if it is Romero, will run unopposed in the November election.
Burnam’s attorney says if a judge allows his suit to go forward, a hearing will be held within 20 days.