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No time for trial in Guinn election lawsuit

I think this really is the end of the line for any actions that could affect the November 2012 ballot.

Zerick Guinn

The question of whether Chris Diaz’s 17-vote run-off victory for the Democratic Precinct 2 Constable nomination was legitimate will fade into Harris County history unresolved after a state district judge Tuesday ruled insufficient time remains before the November election to settle the issue at trial.

Precinct 2 Constable Sgt. Zerick Guinn had sought a trial in 269th state District Court to prove irregularities in a runoff that handed the primary victory to his opponent. A recount of election results still showed Diaz had won.

After hearing testimony from Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart and other election officials, visiting state District Judge Suzanne Stovall ruled that not enough time for a trial and possible appeals remained. “I hate it,” she said of her ruling, “but that’s what the law requires.”

“I feel that we could have proved the case,” Guinn’s attorney, J.W. Beverly, said after the judge’s ruling. Beverly conceded that preparation for filing the law suit had “taken longer than we had hoped.”

The suit was filed four weeks after the recount was completed. Obviously, the abnormally deferred primary and runoff schedule had an effect as well. I still don’t think anything would have come of this, but it’s a shame to have the clock run out before all the questions could be answered.

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