Democratic candidate for Texas governor declared ineligible

Demetria Smith, a democratic candidate for governor, was declared ineligible after her filing fee check bounced. She participated in a forum with the other democratic candidates on Jan 8, 2017. (Nexstar Photo)
Demetria Smith, a democratic candidate for governor, was declared ineligible after her filing fee check bounced. She participated in a forum with the other democratic candidates on Jan 8, 2017. (Nexstar Photo)

SAN ANGELO, Texas (KXAN) — A Democratic candidate for Texas governor was declared ineligible after the check she wrote to pay for the state’s filing fee bounced, meaning she will be forced to exit the race.

According to data from the Texas Secretary of State’s office, Demetria Smith was ruled ineligible and it does not appear that her name will show up on the March primary ballot.

Each candidate must submit a filing fee when turning in the necessary paperwork to run for office, or file a petition with 5,000 signatures in lieu of the fee. A Texas Democratic Party staff member said Smith’s $3,750 check to pay the filing fee bounced.

“We have no wiggle room but to declare a candidate ineligible,” Glen Maxey, legislative affairs director with the Texas Democrats said, explaining that this was a “simple statutory requirement.”

Maxey said Smith filed on Dec. 11, the final day to file for state office, but “her check was insufficient,” meaning that when the error was discovered, it was too late to submit a new payment. Maxey said the check was deposited on Dec. 12, and the bank did not notify the party it was returned until Jan. 8.

“There is no cure since the filing fee had to be good on the filing date,” Maxey added.

Smith participated in a forum with the nine other Democratic candidates for governor in San Angelo on Monday night.

A request for comment from Smith’s campaign Tuesday afternoon has not yet been returned. However, her campaign website is still active as of Tuesday afternoon.

Information on the Texas Secretary of State's website indicating that democratic gubernatorial candidate Demetria Smith was "declared ineligible". (Photo: Texas Secretary of State website)
Information on the Texas Secretary of State’s website indicating that democratic gubernatorial candidate Demetria Smith was “declared ineligible”.
(Photo: Texas Secretary of State website)

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