Current Justice of the Peace for Precinct 4 Jean Anne Stratton will be running against her daughter, Margaret Anne Brown, in the upcoming election after a failed attempt to withdraw from the race.
"Around 5:40 p.m. she arrived with Meg Ann Brown, her daughter, to allow her daughter to file and indicated to us that she was going to withdraw her application to file and get herself off the ballot the next day," Lubbock County Republican Chair Carl Tepper said.
That was the plan, something Stratton says she decided after Thanksgiving. She said spending time with her family made her realize it was time to step down.
"It made me long for some time to do the things that I like," Stratton said.
She says she called Republican Chair Carl Tepper and told him she intended to withdraw. The next day she went and dropped off a handwritten letter, thinking everything would go smoothly.
"The next thing I heard was this morning that Chairman Tepper said he couldn't take my name off the ballot because I didn't notarize the letter," said Stratton.
Her attempt at a late withdrawal and filing for her daughter prompted some harsh criticism from Democrats.
"At first it was outrageous because it was kind of underhanded politics and now it's kind of funny because it's underhanded politics gone wrong. A case of failed nepotism I guess," said Lubbock County Democratic Chair Kenny Ketner.
Stratton says that's not the case.
"What is staged? She (Margaret Anne Brown) wants to be the justice of peace for precinct 4 so she filed for it. What difference does it make? Both names will be on the ballot and the voters can choose," Stratton said.
Stratton is well liked within her precinct. Ketner says a strong incumbent and the expensive entry fee caused many people to shy away from opposing her, but they would've run against her daughter. He fears now it may be too late for someone to enter.
"To the best of my knowledge our deadline has passed on the Democratic side and for an independent to file as well," Ketner said. "Now if they re-open filing somehow on the Republican side that may open the way for us to re-file as well."
Republican Chair Carl Tepper says negative feedback has been pouring in from people upset by the situation.
"I've been disappointed to see that people don't feel like they've got a fair shake to make a decision themselves and that the voters haven't had a fair shake to have more choices on the ballot," he said.
Stratton feels none of it will matter in the end.
"It doesn't make any difference. We're both on the ballot. Voters can vote, it's not the end of the world."
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