In a dramatic turn of events, the results of the 2018 run-off election for the Mission mayoral race are thrown out after the court considered two weeks of testimony.
Emotions ran very high inside the courtroom Friday morning after visiting Judge J. Bonner Dorsey found the evidence clear that Mayor O’Caña’s campaign was involved in a conspiracy to bribe voters and manipulate mail-in ballots.
Despite the judge’s ruling, O’Caña remains as mayor, but the legal process to appeal the ruling is already in motion.
It was two weeks of testimonies over bribes, mail-ballots, people helping voters and testimony from witnesses over politiqueras holding stacks of ballots in their hands.
During closing arguments, Rick Salinas, who is representing his father, former mayor Norberto Salinas, pointed out that the voter turnout increased during the run-off election and that the O’Caña campaign did more than try to convince people to vote in his favor.
“They took the ballots and illegally voted for them, they took Salinas ballots and changed them,” said Salinas. “The change of custody in the election code is designed to avoid these issues, your honor.”
However, Hinojosa stated in his closing arguments that there is no evidence to prove that the votes were illegal and backed up his statement with a testimony by the expert witness.
“There’s no way that I can say that 303 are illegal ballots, that’s what he said, that was the only witness that testified to that issue,” said Hinojosa.
Judge Dorsey felt different about the evidence presented to the court.
“I find by clear and convincing evidence that the number of illegal voters, illegal votes was in excess to 158 somewhere in excess to 158,” said Dorsey.
O’Caña’s legal team is not giving up and will submit an expedited appeal with the 13th Court of Appeals.
“This is a blatantly incorrect decision, he did not follow what he is supposed to do, he is charged by law with complying with the requirements of the Texas Election Code,” said Hinojosa.
We will have to wait and see whether the judge’s ruling will be implemented or if the court of appeals reverses the judges decision.
Read our coverage of the Mission election trial:
- Day 8 of Mission election trial
- Day 7: Attorney accuses mayor of illegally voting in Mission election
- Emotions run high on day 6 of Mission election trial
- City of Mission election trial enters day 5
- Day 4 of Mission election trial
- Mayor testifies on day 3 of Mission election trial
- Day 2 of Mission election trial
- Mission election trial begins
- Lawsuit alleges illegal votes were accepted in Mission mayoral runoff election