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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Relator Robert Francis, currently judge of the Dallas County Criminal District Court No. 3, filed his application and an accompanying petition as a candidate for the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals. His application and 198 pages of his petition noted that he sought election to Place 8 on that court. An additional 27 pages of his petition listed the same court, but omitted the place number. Because he had obtained far more signatures than the statutory minimum, 15 of the defective pages were superfluous. But 12 of the errant pages were concentrated in one appellate district, leaving 95 of his 122 signatures from that district on pages without a place number. Francis personally delivered his application and petition to the office of the chairman of the Republican Party of Texas. The state chairman’s appointee assured Francis that the party would review the documents before the Jan. 2 filing deadline. On Dec. 30, the party completed its review and notified Francis that his filings were in order and his name would be posted as a candidate by the end of the day which it was. Three days later, and 30 minutes before the filing deadline, an attorney for another candidate notified party officials about the omission of “Place 8″ from several pages of Francis’ petition. On Friday, Jan. 6, 2006, the party chair rejected this challenge and certified Francis as a candidate. On Mon., Jan. 9, Travis County District Judge John Dietz reversed that ruling, signing a temporary injunction that ordered the Republican Party to “decertify” Francis and enjoined the party from listing him as a candidate. On Jan. 11, Francis filed an interlocutory appeal, and the next day, Francis also filed an emergency petition for writ of mandamus in the court of appeals. On Jan. 13, the court of appeals denied Francis’ petition for writ of mandamus. That same day, Francis filed this emergency petition for writ of mandamus, asking this court to order the trial court to vacate its temporary injunction, and to order the Republican party chair to put Francis’ name on the primary ballot. The interlocutory appeal of the temporary injunction remains pending in the court of appeals. HOLDING:Conditionally granted. Consistent with the purposes of the Election Code and In Re: Gamble, 71 S.W.3d 313 (Tex. 2002), facial defects should exclude a candidate from the ballot only when a proper review by the party chair would have led to the same result. It is hard to see why the Election Code requires a review procedure unless the purpose is to avoid disqualifying candidates for clerical errors. It is hard to see why the statute requires review as soon as practicable and that notice of defects be given immediately unless the Legislature intended to give candidates who file early an opportunity to remedy defects while there is still time. These statutory purposes are defeated if a party chair fails to conduct any review, fails to discover defects apparent on the face of the filing documents, or fails to notify candidates of defects observed while there is still time to correct them. A limited opportunity to cure would remedy such statutory omissions. The court holds that when a challenge is made based on facial defects a party chair overlooked and approved when they could have been cured, the trial court must abate the challenge and allow the candidate that opportunity. Candidates should have the same opportunity to cure as a proper review before the filing deadline would have allowed them. “[W]e emphasize several limitations on today’s holding. First, it concerns only facial defects that are apparent from the four corners of a candidate’s filings; it does not reach forgery, fraud, or other non-accidental defects discoverable only by independent investigation. Second, it concerns only early filings that allow time for corrections after the state chair’s review; no additional time will be available for candidates who file at the last minute so that review cannot be completed before the filing deadline. Third, it does not allow political parties or candidates to ignore statutory deadlines; it allows candidates only the time that the Election Code was designed to give them. Fourth, it concerns only defective filings that have erroneously been approved; it does not change what the Election Code says party chairs should and must reject. Finally, it does not absolve candidates of the need for diligence and responsibility in their filings; party chairs must only notify them of defects, not do their work for them.” OPINION:Brister, J.; Jefferson, CJ, Hecht, Medina and Green, JJ., join. Willett, J., did not participate. DISSENT:Wainwright, J.; O’Neill and Johnson, JJ., join. “Today the Court creates a period that can extend beyond the statutory filing deadline, during which candidates can cure disqualifying defects in their petitions to be certified to run for public office. The Legislature did not enact a cure period in the Texas Election Code. Because the Court does, I respectfully dissent.”

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