Commissioner candidate defeated by narrow margin won't file appe - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Commissioner candidate defeated by narrow margin won't file appeal for new election

Priest can appeal the court’s decision, but he said he had not made a decision yet. (Source: KXXV) Priest can appeal the court’s decision, but he said he had not made a decision yet. (Source: KXXV)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

(April 4, 2015) On Monday, defeated candidate for McLennan County Commissioner Cory Priest announced that he would not file an appeal for a new election.

Priest lost the March 1st Republican Primary by 25 votes to incumbent Kelly Snell. He filed a lawsuit asking for a new election citing irregularities in the election.

Ninety-three eligible voters in that precinct were not able to vote because they received the wrong ballot. Seventeen people who were not supposed to vote in the precinct did at four locations. 

However. judge James E. Morgan denied his request for a new election on March 21, making incumbent Kelly Snell the winner of the GOP primary for the position of McLennan County Commissioner Precinct 1.

Pries released the following statement on Monday following his decision to not file an appeal to the judge's ruling:

"Although I believe it is justifiable and the right thing to do, it is financially illogical and I have no confidence in the judicial system after the last ruling that followed prejudice instead of the law. I am thankful for all of the supporters and I am disappointed along with them that our democratic process of a true election has been denied," said Priest in a statement issued Monday. "I will consider running for office again in a couple of years because I have been contacted by so many people around the area that are disenchanted with the lack of strong leadership from various elected officials."

 Snell declined to comment on Priest's decision. 

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On March 21 retired judge James E. Morgan presided over the trial held in the 170th District courtroom in McLennan County.

Cory Priest, who lost the race for County Commissioner Precinct 1 by 25 votes, filed a lawsuit asking for a new election citing irregularities in the election process.

Ninety-three eligible voters in that precinct were not able to vote because they received the wrong ballot. Seventeen people who were not supposed to vote in the precinct did at four locations. 

Priest said his attorneys made their case in court presenting appellate case, but ultimately the judge denied the request for a new election.

"I think the voters in McLennan County lost. If we have a new election I may lose that one, I may win it. It's not important. What is important is that we get it right and it's not right,” Priest said. “So if you went out and voted your vote doesn't count.  That’s what they're telling people.”

David Tekell, the attorney representing Snell, said they made the case that despite the irregularities it was highly improbable, from a statistical standpoint, there would've been a different outcome of the election.

"[Snell] felt he won the election on election night. When there was a recount he thought he won the election then. His overall observation is that more than 6,000 people voted and made a decision. It was a close election but he won. He's glad that the result was upheld in court,” said Tekell.

Priest can appeal the court’s decision but at the time he said he had not made that decision yet. Tekell said if there is an appeal, Snell and him will present to another court the reason the incumbent prevailed in this election.

Copyright 2016 KXXV. All Rights Reserved.

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