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Irving Weekly Title

Denton, Texas News

Texas AG Files Lawsuit Against Denton ISD Over Alleged Illegal Electioneering

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has filed a lawsuit against Denton Independent School District (DISD) for allegedly engaging in illegal electioneering. The lawsuit accuses DISD of using taxpayer-funded resources to support specific candidates during an election.

The legal action comes after an incident on February 5, 2024, when the principal of Alexander Elementary School in DISD reportedly sent an email to all staff members urging them to vote against certain candidates who support particular policies. The email, sent using a government email account, is said to have violated the Texas Election Code's prohibition on using public resources for electioneering.

Attorney General Paxton is seeking an injunction to halt DISD's alleged unlawful activities.

In the lawsuit filing, two specific instances of alleged wrongdoing were detailed.

Firstly, it was highlighted that on February 5, 2024, the principal of Alexander Elementary School, Lindsay Lujan, who also serves as the Director of Special Programs for DISD, reportedly sent an email to all staff members. In this email, staff were purportedly encouraged to vote for candidates who support public schools and oppose vouchers. The email allegedly contained a link to a website operated by "Texans for Public Education," a group claiming to promote public education through block voting.

Secondly, it was noted that prior to February 20, 2024, Jesus Lujan, the principal of Borman Elementary School within DISD, also allegedly sent an email to staff members. In this email, staff were reportedly urged to participate in the Republican primary, regardless of their political affiliation, and vote for candidates supporting public education and school funding. The email purportedly cited historical data indicating a preference for vouchers among primary voters in Texas.

While the Office of the Attorney General cannot pursue criminal prosecution for Election Code violations due to a Court of Criminal Appeals’ decision in Texas v. Stephens, it can seek civil injunctive relief to prohibit school districts from attempting to influence elections unlawfully.

Attorney General Paxton emphasized the impropriety of publicly funded entities engaging in electioneering, stating, "State law prohibits government officials—including school district personnel—from using either their positions of authority or taxpayer resources to influence the outcome of elections." He reiterated his commitment to safeguarding elections from illegal interference and vowed to use all legal means available to address such violations.

To read the full filing, click here.

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