Smith County Constable Henry Jackson Can Still Clinch A Win In November

Constable Henry Jackson is now the official Democratic nominee for his precinct one position.  Even in the wake of his recent arrest, the Smith County Democratic Party said Jackson will remain just that.

"There is no way for either party to put up any other candidate," said John Trube, legal counsel for the Smith County Democratic Party.  "That is a foreclosed proceeding."

Trube said, right now, voter options are limited.

"The only way he is going to get off the ballot is for him to resign, withdraw from the race, or be removed."

To be removed, Jackson has to be declared ineligible as a candidate.

If that happens before August 22, 2008 the Texas Secretary of State Elections division said Jackson's name would be removed from the ballot and Smith County Democratic leaders could certify a candidate.

If he is declared ineligible after August 22, 2008, his name would remain on the ballot, and the commissioners court would be charged with appointing a replacement.  To be declared ineligible, Jackson would have to be convicted of a felony.

But Trube said there is one other option.  "A write-in candidate could declare, could be qualified under election laws and run as a write-in candidate."  But that candidate would not be affiliated with either party, he said.

Until then, the election is Constable Jackson's to lose.

A Texas Secretary of State Office representative said a civil case would not effect Jackson's status as a candidate.   If a civil petition is filed with district court and Jackson is removed from his position before the election, he could still be re-instated if he remains unopposed on the ballot.

Layron Livingston, Reporting