Cascos v. Tarrant County Democratic Party (Per Curiam)Annotate this Case
Political parties may apply to the Secretary of State for state funds to reimburse expenses connected with administering primary elections. After Wendy Davis was certified as the Democratic nominee for State Senate District 10 in the primary election, Davis’s Republican opponent sued to remove Davis from the general election ballot. The challenge failed, and Davis prevailed in the general election. The state and county Democratic Party chairpersons subsequently applied for reimbursement of attorney’s fees related to defending the challenge to Davis’s candidacy. The Secretary of State declined to reimburse the legal expenses to the Democratic Party because the party incurred those expenses after the primary election and in connection with the general election. The district court upheld the Secretary’s decision. The Court of Appeals reversed, concluding that the legal expenses were plainly connected to the primary election because they were based on Davis’s alleged constitutional ineligibility to appear on the primary election ballot. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the Secretary did not abuse his discretion in denying the requested reimbursement from the primary election fund, as the Secretary is not obligated to reimburse a political party for legal expenses incurred in defending its nominee’s right to appear on the general-election ballot.