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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Jim Sharp, a candidate for the 1st Court of Appeals, Place 9, filed his application, petition, and filing fee with the Texas Democratic Party. Although a party official reviewed Sharp’s filing and assured him that everything was in order, he was later notified that he would not be certified as a candidate because his application had not been notarized. On Jan. 2, 2006, Sharp filed his application to become a candidate for Justice of the 1st Court of Appeals, Place 9, in the Democratic Party primary. He delivered the application in person to the Texas Democratic Party headquarters in Austin; there he signed it after filling in all the blanks, including those in the required statement “I, __________, of __________ County, Texas, being a candidate for the office of __________, swear that I will support and defend the constitution and laws of the United States and of the State of Texas.” But Sharp’s signature was not notarized. On Jan. 10, 2006, the state chairman of the Texas Democratic Party, Charles E. Soechting, notified Sharp that he would not be certified as a candidate because his application “was not properly acknowledged.” HOLDING:Conditionally granted. “Assuming without deciding that the application was defective, we hold as we did in Francis that the Election Code does not mandate that this defect be punished by exclusion from the ballot.” OPINION:Scott Brister, J.; Jefferson, CJ, Hecht, Medina and Green, JJ. join. O’Neill, J., concurred in the decision. Willett, J., did not participate. DISSENT:Johnson, J.; Wainwright, J., joins. “I respectfully dissent from the Court’s decision to grant mandamus relief on two grounds. First, relator Sharp did not first seek relief in the court of appeals as Texas Rule of Appellate Procedure 52.3(e) requires. . . .” “Second, I would decline relief because Sharp’s petition presents matters which should first be brought in a trial court where factual issues and matters bearing on his entitlement to relief could be explored by all parties, and, to the extent necessary, conflicting evidence reconciled.”

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