Texas Secretary of State Posts November 2014 Candidate List — 4 Comments

  1. Congratulations to the Libertarians for the good ticket of candidates. I just wish I could support some of your philosophical positions, but my conscience won’t allow it. Nevertheless, I hope you have an impact on the General Election there in Texas.

  2. 2% for governor; or 5% for statewide office.

    There are two separate provisions.

    A party that receives 20% for governor must nominate by primary; a party that receives between 2% and 20% may nominate by primary. If a party nominates by primary, their nominees are placed on the general election ballot.

    A party that may nominate by primary (a 2% to 20% gubernatorial party), may instead nominate by convention. All other parties, including new parties must nominate by convention.

    Convention nominees qualify for the general election under either of two conditions:
    (1) Attendance at their precinct conventions, supplemented by petition, is 1% of the previous gubernatorial vote (currently just short of 50,000);
    (2) 5% of vote for any statewide office at the previous election.

    Since the governor is on the ballot every four years, the 2% for governor qualifies a party to hold a primary for the next two elections. I suspect that it just wasn’t changed when gubernatorial terms were increased to 4 years.

    A party that failed to get 5% for a statewide office, but qualified under the 2% gubernatorial provision, would have to nominate by primary, or re-qualify by convention attendance/petition.

    Currently, the Libertarian party qualifies to nominate by primary (2.19% for governor in 2010), but the Green party does not (0.39%).

    Both parties qualify to have their convention-nominated candidates appear on the general election ballot based on the 2012 elections, when there were several judicial offices with no Democratic candidate. In those races, the Libertarian got around 17-18%, and the Green around 8%.

    Texas has two supreme courts, one with jurisdiction in criminal matters, one with jurisdiction in civil matters. This will mean that there are at least 6 judicial races at every election, and the Democrats in recent years have not run candidates for all of them. The last time the Democrats had candidates for all offices, in 2002, they knocked both the Libertarians and Greens off the ballot.

    The Libertarians re-qualified in 2004, but the Greens did not do so until 2010. The Greens this year made an effort to recruit judicial candidates for three races where the Democrats are not fielding candidates.

    Candidates seeking nomination by primary pay a filing fee; while those seeking nomination by convention do not (they still must file in December of the preceding year).

    Legislators have from time-to-time proposed making all candidates pay a filing fee. In the past, the Libertarians have had a fiscal note attached to the bill, which had the effect of derailing it.

    The State pays for primaries. The filing fee is residual from when filing fees paid for the primary. At that times, filing fees sometimes were ginormous for county offices. This was ruled an unconstitutional ballot access barrier by the SCOTUS. So now there are filing fees for the primary set in statute, with the money defraying a relative small portion of the cost of the primary.

    Conventions are paid for by the parties, and there are no filing fees for convention-nominating parties.

    Since the Libertarians may nominated by primary, the State could be on the hook for several million $$$, and would likely collect only a few $1000 in filing fees. So the fiscal note said that passage of the bill could cost the state budget several million, and the bill quietly died.

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