3rd Democratic Candidate Loses Place In Race - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

3rd Democratic Candidate Loses Place In Race

A third Texoman candidate in the Democratic party lost his spot on the November ballot because of voting in the GOP primary.

Wichita County Democratic Chairman John Richie confirmed Lanhom Odom of Bowie is no longer eligible for the November ballot because he voted in the GOP primary. He was running as a Democrat candidate for District 68.

"In 42 years I've never heard of something like this...little bit discouraged about it, because we've given the GOP party a free seat," Richie said. "I'm heartbroken by it. He's a good man, and I think he meant well, but vote in the general election. You've got your own race to run here. We wanted to get some of those seats back so we can be in some of the conversations."

This is the letter Odom sent to the Texas Democratic Party announcing his decision to withdraw:

Texas Democratic Party,

I have advised the Montague County Democratic Chair that my name should be removed from the November General Election ballot as the Democratic Candidate for the Texas House of Representatives for House District 68.

As an American citizen, I value my right to vote above all others.  There were no candidates in contested races on the Democratic Primary ballot below the level of U. S. Senator in my home county of Montague.  Further, there were no Democratic candidates down ballot from my race other than the Constable Precinct 1 position.  Consequently, virtually all Republican candidates that prevailed in the Republican Primary would be unopposed in the November General Election.  Considering this fact, I could not in good conscience voluntarily waive my right to vote in the May 29th Primary that would determine who was to serve in various offices in my home county.  County Commissioners, Sheriff, District Attorney for the 97th Judicial District and Judge of the 97th District Court were all hotly contested in the Republican Primary.  Texas law prohibits a candidate of one party from voting in the primary of another party.  I must confess.  I voted in the Republican Primary.

I knew in my heart that having my name on the November ballot as the Democratic candidate for the Texas House of Representatives was not worth forfeiting my God given right to participate in the democratic process.   This is a right that I and millions of others who have served this Country in uniform have risked their lives to protect.  The Texas Election Code prohibits my full participation in the electoral process under the circumstances in which I find myself.  That should be changed.

I will continue to work vigorously for the Democratic Party at all levels of government.  However, I will never be willing to forfeit my right to have a voice in the governance of the affairs of State that so directly affect not only me, my family and friends, but all citizens of this region.  As a practicing attorney, I feel that I have a professional responsibility to do everything I can to elect well qualified candidates to positions of such importance.

Thank you for everything you have done to aid in my efforts to represent Texas House District 68.

Respectfully,

Lanhon Odom


Odom is the third Democrat candidate for office in the area who has voted in the GOP primary. He joins Newcastle's formal Mayor Steve Sosinski and long-time Jack County Attorney Michael G. Mask.

Sosinski who won the Democratic Primary for County Commission Precinct 3 found himself off the November ballot after he voted in the Republican Primary. He later resigned as Mayor, Emergency Management Director and from his position in the volunteer fire department.
The incumbent commissioner, Stacy Roger, was going to run against Sosinski.

Mask found himself no longer eligible for re-election. His win would have been a shoo-in because the attorney was running unopposed. Once he was out of the election the ballot became vacant.

Candidates still in the running for District 68 after Odom's departure are Trent McKnight of Throckmorton and Drew Springer of Muenster. They're both Republicans.

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