Hockley County sheriff candidate accuses opponent of election violation

Published: Oct. 22, 2016 at 2:12 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 22, 2016 at 4:27 AM CDT
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HOCKLEY COUNTY, TX (KCBD) - A candidate for Hockley County Sheriff has taken an alleged election violation to the FBI.

Write-in candidate James Warren said his opponent, Republican candidate Ray Scifres, violated the state election by not keeping his distance from a polling place, however Scifres said that is not true.

"It has gotten to the point now where the allegations have been made that are number one, serious and number two, false," Scifres said.

Scifres, who is an investigator for the Yoakum County District Attorney's office, said he agreed to talk to KCBD NewsChannel 11 to address and hopefully stop the allegations that he violated rules during last spring's republican primary.

"After the March primary, there was no other candidates that were filed. I was the republican nominee, so we were just going to November. In August, Mr. Warren filed his paperwork as a write-in candidate and then this surfaced back in the first week of October," Scifres said.

Warren, who is the chief deputy at the Hockley County Sheriff's Office, said he and several other people saw Scifres near the polls during early voting.

"I did go to the courthouse to vote during early voting," Scifres said.

"And that was the only time you were there during the nine days?" we asked.

"Well, I would have gone one other time possibly and that would have been to file a campaign treasury report, which is required by law," Scifres said.

We went to the Hockley County Sheriff's Office to speak with Warren about the allegations, but he was not there. He did however, answer our questions over the phone.

"Do you think he was influencing people's decisions?" we asked.

"Personally, yes I do," Warren said.

Scifres said that is not true.

"I was not talking to voters, I was not campaigning, I was not passing out literature, I was not doing anything electioneering, I was not doing anything campaign related. I went there to vote and yes, I did talk to a few people while I was there, but I was not electioneering or loitering or anything I am being accused of," Scifres said.

Still, Warren said what he saw was concerning.

"It was a blatant violation of law for him to be there and with nobody doing anything, I finally got fed up with it, gathered all the information I could and went to the FBI with it," Warren said.

Scifres said he reached out to the FBI to see if he could answer any questions, and he said he was told that was not necessary.

"I have yet to be told by anyone that I am under investigation for anything," Scifres said.

Click here to view the election code.

Click here to view James Warren's Facebook page.

Click here to view Ray Scifres' Facebook page.

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