Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

April 11, 2014

Court date set for JP hearing

CHEROKEE COUNTY — A court date has been reset to April 28 for a hearing of a petition by a local primary candidate in an upcoming Pct. 4 Justice of the Peace race.

The motion for continuance – filed last week by Jacksonville attorney Mike Wallace on behalf of his client, Rodney P. Wallace – was granted by Judge Jerry Calhoon, according to the 2nd Judicial District Clerk's office.

Calhoon is a senior judge of the 349th District Court who is assigned to overhear the case filed by Vera Foreman, the

uncontested Democratic incumbent in a local March 4 primary.

In early March, Foreman filed a petition against Wallace and Jerry Rix, claiming candidate Wallace – who ran in the March 4 Republican primary – does not meet county residency requirements.

Her case is based on a candidate application filed by Wallace that states he had “continuous residence in the county … for 11 months as of the date the application was sworn.” The application reflects a Jacksonville address for Wallace.

Rix – in his role as the Republican Party county chairman for Cherokee County – signed the document, noting that the application was accompanied by an eight-page petition submitted “in lieu of filing fee.”

Foreman's petition states Wallace is ineligible to be a candidate in the primary – and therefore ineligible to be a candidate in the Nov. 4 general election – because “he was not a resident of Cherokee County for a period of six months prior to the filing deadline for primary elections, said deadline being December 9, 2013.”

The Texas Election Code requires candidates filing for a Justice of the Peace seat must reside in the territory they seek to represent “for a period of six months next preceding the filing deadline for said election,” the document points out.

Foreman's petition also states that 29 of the 57 signatures Wallace procured on a petition to be placed on the primary ballot were dated after a Nov. 13, 2013, the date Rix said he received the petition.

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