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February 25, 2014

County GOP chair denies taking sides in primary

Two Republican JP candidates believe Prince intentionally tried to harm their election chances with email about their voting histories

By CHRISTIN COYNE

Two Republican candidates for justice of the peace say they believe Parker County Republican Chair Zan Prince inappropriately used her position to attack their campaigns and give their opponents an advantage in the ongoing primary election.

In a mass email distributed Saturday by Prince, she discussed the participation of two candidates in Democratic primaries since 2003. 

Both men said they have a history of voting for Republican candidates, they have an explanation for their primary voting records and they requested they be able to respond in the same email forum but were not given the opportunity to do so.

“Generally, I only have to share voting history during the ‘non-partisan’ municipal elections, but this year, primary candidate Bernard Suchocki’s voting history shows no Republican primary vote and a vote in the Democratic primary in 2008,” Prince wrote in a mass email distributed Saturday. “Primary candidate Jerry Hataway voted in the 2004/2008 Democratic primaries and the 2012 Republican primary. All other candidates are rated either “hard” or “weak” Republican. You have a right to know the candidate’s voting history, and you may want to follow up on the issue with them.”

“The candidates that have participated in Democratic primaries to the extent that the Republican database identifies them as Democrats have complained that they have a response for voters,” Prince wrote in a follow up email that provided website information for the two campaigns. “Please give them a call or check out their websites for the explanations.”

Suchocki, who has campaigned for Justice of the Peace Precinct 4 as a “life-long conservative Republican,” said the email was an attack on his credibility.

“It’s pretty obvious to me Zan Prince wants my opponent to win,” Suchocki said. “That’s been plain to me for a long period of time. What she did is very inappropriate. She is a lady who constantly talks about doing things above board, about being honest, about being straightforward. And what she did I think is highly inappropriate because she is making the assumption that because I voted in the 2008 Democratic campaign, that that makes me a Democrat. That is absolutely absurd.”

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