Joan Huffman's campaign for state Senate appears to have broken the law against campaigning on property where voting is taking place, Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman said today.
Republican Huffman, opposing Democrat Chris Bell in next Tuesday's state Senate District 17 runoff, hosted a barbecue luncheon for voters today inside the Tracey Gee Community Center in far west Houston. Early voting in the state Senate election is taking place through Friday in another room in the same building.
Commissioner Steve Radack, a Republican, said he attended the luncheon along with Huffman and urged people to vote for her. She is a former felony court judge.
Under state law, it is a Class C misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $500, to campaign for or against a candidate "within 100 feet of an outside door through which a voter may enter the building in which a polling place is located."
Radack said a member of Kaufman's staff working at the early voting station took no action after checking into a complaint by a voter. But Kaufman said the event was "ill-advised" and should not have taken place there, regardless of the distance between the two rooms inside the community building.
Kaufman said it was up to a voter to pursue any charges against the campaign. The voter who complained to the election worker said she, indeed, would do so.
Just another reason to go vote for Chris Bell (as if you need one).