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Dallas city council candidate argues June 5 runoff election was unlawful; asks results not be certified

'They shouldn’t certify the results. The June 5 runoff election was unlawful,' said Elizabeth Alvarez, attorney for candidate Donald Parrish.

DALLAS — A former candidate for Dallas City Council is asking the Texas Supreme Court not to certify the June 5 runoff election results for District 7.

Donald Parrish argued that legal action to formally contest the May 1 election has not been settled as state law requires.

“They shouldn’t certify the results. The June 5 runoff election was unlawful,” said Elizabeth Alvarez, an attorney for Parrish.

Parrish was among eight candidates running for the District 7 seat on Dallas Council on May 1. He narrowly lost a spot in the June 5 runoff. Parrish placed third, 28 votes behind the second-place finisher, Kevin Felder.

On Tuesday, Parrish filed an 81-page writ asking the Texas Supreme Court to stop the City of Dallas from certifying a winner in the race.

The state election code is very clear, Alvarez explained, stating that a runoff election cannot be held until there is a final judgment on an election contest.

“I have never in my decade of practicing election law had this happen. Never,” Alvarez added.

Alvarez and Parrish want to personally examine the 3,325 mail-in ballots, the 26 provisional ballots cast, all requests for ballots by mail, applications for all accepted ballots, and records for several polling places for any irregularities.

She did not say what she suspects she might find.

Texas law requires someone to file an election contest within 10-days of canvassing the vote. Alvarez filed on May 21, and a visiting judge was assigned May 25, but early voting had already begun, she said.

State election law makes the candidates the party rather than the city, Alvarez said. But when she tried to serve the two runoff candidates with Parrish’s election contest - Kevin Felder and incumbent Adam Bazaldua - Alvarez said her server was either denied access at City Hall on multiple occasions or could not locate them.

On Tuesday, Charles S. Estee, an assistant city attorney responded to Alvarez stating: “Contrary to your assertions, the city did not receive notice from the district clerk of any election contest. Likewise, the city denies the allegation that it was aware of the election contest prior to the election being underway. The city cannot agree to your request not to proceed with certification of the election results.”

But Alvarez said she has internal communications from the city, showing that it knew the May 1 election was being contested and still proceeded with the June 5 runoff.

Incumbent councilman Adam Bazaldua was in a council meeting on Tuesday when WFAA contacted him.

Kevin Felder said that he just recently heard about Parrish’s legal contest of the election.

“Anybody could have found me. All I can say is, no I have not been served. And I don’t know that anyone is trying to serve me. He has my phone number,” Felder told WFAA.