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Texas: candidates play "whack the opponent"

The Dallas Morning News reports: Several incumbents and veteran candidates have seized on flaws in their primary opponents' ballot applications, using lawsuits and challenges brought before the state parties to eliminate their opponents before the campaign begins.

Political consultants and election officials said they're seeing more challenges this year. Many have occurred in judicial races, in which candidates typically have less money to mount a statewide campaign and are looking for any advantage.

"One of the first things you do before you spend your campaign money is try to find something to challenge, so you don't have to spend your campaign money," said Jim Boynton, primary director for the Texas Democratic Party.

The Democratic Party is researching challenges made in two races for the appellate courts and one for a state House district. Several Republican contenders have already scored early knockouts with ballot challenges.

Some candidates bringing the challenges offered no apologies for holding opponents to the letter of the law. But the losing candidates and advocates of more political participation said the punishment was too harsh for what amounted to political misdemeanors and robs voters of choices. -- Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News

Thanks to reader Dave Rausch for telling me about one of these challenges.

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