Judge rules Ricardo Rangel the winner of District Two race
LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - In less than 20 minutes, visiting Judge Susan Reed handed down her ruling that 11 votes were cast illegally in the City Council race for District 2, therefore throwing these votes out that were each cast for Daisy Campos-Rodriguez. The judge essentially naming Ricardo “Richie” Rangel as the winner of the race by 5 votes.
“Seeing the results on election night impacted me a lot, especially because the margin was just 6 votes,” said Rangel. “So I went back the following day to see what happened, where we went wrong, and that’s when I saw the problems.”
The problems were a total of 53 votes that looked suspicious. Attorneys for Mr. Rangel saying that in Texas you can’t use an address to vote in that is not your permanent home.
“Texas law says your home, the place that you inhabit, not the place that you’re living in temporarily, is where you vote in,” said Baldemar Garcia, attorney for Mr. Rangel. “So, in this case, we had people who had homestead declarations outside of District 2, yet they claimed they lived and had their residence in District 2, and that is not allowed.”
In response to the judge’s ruling, an appeal with the 4th Court of Appeals has already been filed by attorneys representing Ms. Campos-Rodriguez, and that allows her to remain on City Council for now.
In a statement from the City of Laredo, attorney Zone Nguyen tells us ‘everything stays in place until the court of appeals make the final ruling.’
As for the appeal, while Mr. Rangel’s attorneys asked the judge to consider accelerating the appeals process, attorneys for Ms. Campos-Rodriguez argued against this saying the decision should be left up to the Appellate Court. However, Judge Reed granted the acceleration saying District 2 residents need a voice on City Council and therefore deserve a quick resolution. With this ruling, a final decision could be handed down by the 4th Court of Appeals within two months.
Meanwhile, the judge also found that Ms. Campos-Rodriguez would be responsible for paying costs associated with the trial and the appeal.
KGNS News reached out to the attorney representing Ms. Campos-Rodriguez, but received a response from Roberto Balli saying he could not comment because attorneys were under a gag order. Rangel’s attorneys disputed this saying now that the case was over, there is no longer a gag order.
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