FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 21, 2022
AUSTIN, Texas -- Today, Texas Democratic Party Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa released the following statement applauding the Dallas County Democratic Party for exposing an election cheating scheme involving a precinct chair, candidate, and the Dallas County Republican Party chair.
“We’re thankful for the Dallas County Democratic Party’s leadership – and Chair Kristy Noble’s in particular – in shining a light on the complete disregard Dallas County Republicans have shown for the rule of law. In submitting this fraudulent application, Mark and Jennifer Hadju have shown that they believe they are above the law – and, more tellingly, have shown that they do not believe they can win in Dallas County on the issues alone. Whether they thought their brazen cheating would go unnoticed is a question for the couple – but regardless, we’re hopeful that justice will be served in this case and residents of HD-114 are able to choose from candidates who got on the ballot in a way that’s fair and legal.”
On Monday, Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Kristy Noble issued the following statement “Republicans can’t win elections on the issues—abortion and reproductive rights, gun violence prevention, access to affordable healthcare, and quality jobs—so they gerrymander, make Texas the hardest state in which to vote, and now, approve a false election application. For years Republicans have been screaming about election fraud. This is just one example of how that talk is all projection.”
About the Case:
Earlier this week, Dallas County Democrats filed with the Public Integrity Unit of the Dallas County District Attorney against the Dallas County Republicans’ acceptance of Mark Hajdu’s false application to run for State Representative HD 114, and his wife’s Jennifer’s signature on the application, in her role as chair of the Dallas County Republican Party. At the time of filing, Mark Hajdu did not live in that district.
Election fraud is a serious matter. It is inconceivable that the Hadjus—one, a Republican Precinct Chair and the other, the Republican Party Chair—did not know what voting district they lived in. Filing a false application for office constitutes tampering with a government document, under Texas Penal Code § 37.10(a)(1). Falsely confirming eligibility to run aids and abets that offense.
Filing this fraudulent application allowed Republicans to wait until the primary was decided so they could pick a Republican candidate to replace Mr. Hadju on the November ballot. There should now be no Republican candidate in this race.
ICYMI: Dallas Observer: Dallas Democrats Accuse Former GOP State House Candidate of Submitting Fraudulent Application
[Simone Carter, 7/20/22]
In recent months, Texas Republicans have been warning of election fraud. Now, Dallas County Democrats are pushing back with their own claims that a GOP candidate for state House submitted a fraudulent application.
Last week, a lawyer wrote the district attorney's office on behalf of Dallas County Democratic Party Chair Kristy Noble. The Democrats allege that Texas House District 114 candidate Mark Hajdu, a Republican, falsely stated that he still lived within that district. They also claim that his wife, Dallas County Republican Party Chair Jennifer Stoddard-Hajdu, signed off on the false filing.
The Hajdus' alleged goal? To hand-pick a good Republican contender to square off with the Democratic nominee after Hajdu’s candidacy was declared ineligible, Noble argues.
The way Noble sees it, it’s implausible that the Hajdus didn’t realize that they no longer lived in HD 114, which was redrawn last year. On top of Stoddard-Hajdu's position as county GOP chair, she said, her husband has served as a local precinct chair.
At the same time, Republicans at every level of government have continuously cried “fraud,” she added. “It seems again and again, we are at least seeing the implication of impropriety on the Republican side,” Noble said. “And so it just seems that the call of the ‘Big Lie’ is really all projection.”
Noble later said Texas is the most difficult state in which to vote. Sometimes, people avoid the ballot box because they feel their vote doesn’t matter and that the system is rigged.
“These types of improprieties perpetuate that feeling, and so making it harder to vote and then breaking the election code in the law to cherry-pick a candidate is doing nothing but deteriorating our democracy and faith in our democracy,” she said. “That's why we filed the complaint.”
The Democrats have published a copy of the purported false filing, an event timeline, a legal memorandum and the letter to the DA's Public Integrity Unit. The memo argues that the Hajdus should be charged "for a state jail felony for knowingly making a false entry in a governmental record."
Calls to the Dallas County District Attorney’s Office weren’t returned by publication time.
Hadju’s campaign expenditures total $750, and he’s received $0 in donations, per campaign finance website Transparency USA. The filing fee listed on Hajdu’s application was $750.
Democrats claim that Hajdu never made a campaign announcement and that he hasn’t mentioned his candidacy on social media. But they say he’s active on Facebook, where he purportedly posts about others’ races.
The county Democrats also say the couple, who now live in HD 108, would have noticed that Hajdu was not listed as a candidate on their ballot when they voted in the primary.
Reached by phone, Hajdu slammed the Democrats’ claims as “absolutely inaccurate” and “fraudulent.” He then promised to call back before hurriedly ending the call. He neither called back nor did he respond to a subsequent voicemail and email.
A representative with the Dallas County Republican Party responded to the Observer’s inquiry on behalf of Stoddard-Hajdu. “This allegation is totally without merit,” Stoddard-Hajdu said, according to the GOP representative. “It’s political harassment, pure and simple, and it's going nowhere.”
The timeline of events laid out by the Democrats notes that Hajdu filed for HD 114 on Dec. 13, the final day of filing. Had he not done so, the Democrats would have run their candidate unopposed.
To Noble, it doesn’t seem like there should be a Republican candidate in HD 114.
“We want free, fair elections,” she said. “Our voters deserve to have the processes followed by both sides, by both parties, to make sure that everything is fair. It appears that that was not done in this case.”