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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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Students, faculty react to Mealer election challenge


Juana Garcia/The Cougar

Former Republican challenger for Harris County Judge Alexandra Moral Del Mealer has said she plans to contest the results of the election, which was initially decided in favor of the incumbent, Judge Lina Hidalgo

While Mealer initially said she would accept the election results if she lost, she now claims that she decided to file because of concerns over election security outlined in a recent report by the county Election Administrator.

Student reactions to Mealer’s announcement were mixed, with many noting that they were uncertain why she chose to contest the election.

“I just don’t get what she’s trying to do other than make Harris County look bad,” said public administration graduate student Abbie Culver. “The voter suppression we’ve been told about affects primarily left-leaning groups, so it’s not like it would change the results of the election.”

Other students were more cynical with their reactions, claiming that Mealer planned to contest the election from the start.

“I honestly shouldn’t be surprised,” said political science sophomore Ryan Camp. “She ran on a platform of Trump 2020 election fraud, so it makes sense she’d strike as soon as the opportunity presented itself.” 

Mealer is joined by eight other candidates who filed for election contests. While it is uncertain if these contests will be successful, some experts believe that they were filed to build community momentum instead.

“The likelihood of a successful challenge is low, but the challenge itself appeases her political base that doesn’t trust elections,” said political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus. “These challenges are primarily political rather than legal, so I anticipate more challenges if politicians don’t get the results they like from elections.”

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