Two Angelina County sheriff candidates disqualified after voting in Republican primary

William Wade and Jim Hodges are both disqualified from the sheriff's election runoff
William Wade and Jim Hodges are both disqualified from the sheriff's election runoff

ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - William Wade is coming to terms with an oversight carrying major consequences.

He and Angelina County sheriff candidate Jim Hodges are disqualified from running in the November general election.

Both signed campaign paperwork as Democrats, however, they decided to vote in the Republican primaries.

It's a mistake election officials aren't taking lightly.

Party chairs, you know, do make it pretty clear, I think, that you're on their ticket therefore you're representing them," said Thelma 'Midget' Sherman, Angelina County Tax Assessor Collector.

Sherman says it's each candidate's job to learn and fully understand the election laws when running for a position.

Wade says this was his first time to vote in 20 years.

As constable he was used to running unopposed in the democratic primary, so this year he wanted to have a say in his opponent.

"I assumed that I had the same voter's rights as everybody else has, but as a candidate you don't have that same right," said Wade.

According to Section 162.015 of the Election Code, candidate may vote, just not in the opposing party's primary.

"Everybody can vote. A candidate can vote. It's a right of every registered voter to vote. But, the election laws clearly state in the state of Texas, you cannot file and run as a candidate on one party and then vote in the different party," said Angelina County Democratic party chair Jim Wark.

"That was a mistake, mess up on my part. That's all I want to say. It's over," said Hodges.

The Angelina County Democratic Party is now looking to replace Hodges with a new candidate in the sheriff's race.

Wark hopes to have an answer about a replacement soon.

Wade tells us he will finish his term in office, then pursue another job.

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