Thursday, April 24, 2008

Denton election crisis averted

Following up on last week's post, it appears that Denton's upcoming mayoral race will not be thrown into turmoil after all:

A district judge Monday allowed Denton Mayor Perry McNeill and two other candidates to remain on the May 10 ballot, after a lawsuit challenged their eligibility.

Visiting Judge David Evans said he would not intervene in an election that is under way. Early voting in the City Council races starts April 28, but city officials said they already sent out two absentee ballots.

The judge did not rule on the merits of the lawsuit, which alleges that McNeill, Mayor Pro Tem Pete Kamp and former council member Mark Burroughs would violate the city’s term limits by winning another term. City attorneys say the candidates are eligible to run because none is seeking more than three consecutive terms in the same seat.

The judge appeared to take a dim view of Denton's attorneys' interpetation of the city's term limits in a hearing last week, but realized that a ruling against the city this close to the election would create great turmoil and therefore decided not to interfere. The question regarding the meaning of Denton's term limits is still unanswered. Now, however, perhaps it is something that the citizens of Denton, rather than the courts, can resolve.

Denton's election is May 10.

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