Mansfield school board says candidate ineligible

By Amanda Rogers

mansfield Record

The Mansfield ISD school board met April 18 to discuss the eligibility of the candidates for the Place 2 trustee position, and determined the one candidate was not eligible. Trustees did not remove the ineligible candidate from the May 4 ballot, however.

Angel Hidalgo and Jandel Crutchfield have filed to run for the Place 2 seat, but the board has determined that Hidalgo was not a registered voter in the Mansfield ISD when he filed as a candidate as required the the Texas Election Code.

The school board said in a statement after the called meeting that the Feb. 24 deadline had passed to remove candidates, so Hidalgo will remain on the ballot. The school district website lists Hidalgo as an "ineligible" candidate. If Hidalgo receives more votes in the election, he cannot take office, according to the school board statement. A vacancy will be declared in the Place 2 seat, and trustees can either appoint someone to fill the position or hold a special election.

When the Tarrant County Elections Administration printed the ballot without Hidalgo's name, school district attorney Mike Leasor emailed the county election administration March 23 that Hidalgo's name had been left off and asked that it be placed on the ballot.

Texas News - Mansfield school board says candidate ineligibleJandel Crutchfield

The board released a statement April 4 stating that inquiries into the eligibility of both candidates had been reviewed, and Crutchfield had been found to be qualified while the findings on Hidalgo were "inconclusive."

Incumbent Desiree "Dez" Thomas filed to run again, but withdrew her name after the deadline had passed to filed to apply for the position.

The May 4 election also includes a race for Place 1 between incumbent Michelle Newsom and challenger Matthew Herzberg, along with a five-part $777 million bond election for repairs, improvements, replacements and expansion in the school district. Early voting runs April 22-30. Click here for voting sites in Tarrant County. Johnson County voters can cast early ballots at Alma Martinez Intermediate School, 2001 Julian Feild St.

Texas News - Mansfield school board says candidate ineligibleAngel Hidalgo

The April 18 statement from the Mansfield ISD school board from board president Courtney Wilson:

"This morning, after meeting with additional legal counsel and conferring in closed session, the board was briefed on the District’s review of Dr. Angel Hidalgo’s eligibility for the Place 2 election on May 4, 2024.  This is a very important matter, as the legal rights of all affected candidates are impacted.  Because the statutory deadline to remove an ineligible candidate from the ballot was February 24, 2024 and had already passed when the first ineligibility complaint was received on March 3, 2024, the District and its legal counsel worked carefully and deliberately to ensure that any decisions made were based only on the law and conclusive public documents, and I appreciate their respect for the rights of the candidates.

"The law requires that a candidate may only be declared ineligible if there are facts indicating that the candidate is ineligible that are conclusively established by another public record. Therefore, it was critical to ensure that any decision made was based on a conclusive public document.  Legal counsel confirmed on April 12, 2024 that Mansfield ISD is now in possession of a public record that conclusively establishes that Dr. Hidalgo was not a registered voter of the Mansfield ISD by the deadline of February 16, 2024, as required by Texas Election Code Section 141.001 (a)(6). Based upon a review of public documents, the Texas Election Code, and the Texas Government Code, we have been informed that a certification has been made, based on public documents, that candidate Hidalgo is ineligible to run for the Mansfield ISD Board of Trustees in the May 4, 2024, election. All votes in the election must be counted.  However, if Dr. Hidalgo is declared the winner, then a vacancy in that position will be declared. Board members may then fill the vacancy by appointment until the next trustee election or may order a special election to fill the vacancy.

On behalf of the Board and administration, we want to thank everyone for their patience as we worked through this process."


Copyright © 2024 All Rights Reserved.
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram