Harris County Democrats Try To Oust Their Candidate

The Harris County Democratic Party wants to remove a candidate from the ballot. The party says Lloyd Oliver — who is running for Harris County District Attorney — violated party rules and should be pulled from the race. One political analyst says it's an unusual and interesting case.

Harris County Democrats would rather not have a candidate for DA on the ballot than have Lloyd Oliver be their man.

University of Houston Political Science Professor Dr. Richard Murray says Oliver is what’s known as a perrenial candidate, he runs in nearly every election cycle and has appeared on both the Republican and Democratic tickets.

“The party thinks he’s an embarrassment and that he’ll be a target of the Republicans in the November down-ballot races, and they would just as soon see him be not at all on the ballot. So the Democrats are trying to minimize the damage from having a candidate that they don’t think is qualified to be district attorney.”

Party leaders say Oliver violated the party’s rules by endorsing Republican DA Pat Lykos.

Oliver says he never endorsed her and merely said she had done a good job in office, after she had already lost her party’s primary. He says he’s filing an injunction to keep his name from being taken off the ballot.

Murray says Oliver’s argument in court will be that the voters chose him, but the case may hinge on whether a judge agrees that the  primary vote trumps the party’s rules.

“At the top of the ticket, voters are fairly well informed. They know who they’re voting for, for governor or president or United States Senator. Down-ballot, in our county where we’ve got the longest ballot in America, voters often know very, very little about the individuals.”

Murray says one reason the party is so anxious to have Oliver removed from the ballot, is there is a chance, however remote, that he could win in November.

And that’s a risk the Democrats aren’t willing to take.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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