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Woodlands board candidate removed from ballot

September 7, 2018

A local resident who filed to run for The Woodlands Township Board of Directors in November has been removed from the ballot.

Luis Granados, who had filed candidate papers to challenge incumbent John Anthony Brown, will not appear on ballots for the Nov. 6 election after he incorrectly filled out the official candidate paper work, a township spokesman said..

According to township spokesperson Nick Wolda, Granados did not enter how long he had been a resident of both Texas and The Woodlands, which nullified his application.

“The township sent the document to the Secretary of State — who administers election laws set by State — and they said the township must reject the application under Section 141.032 (e) of the Texas Election Code,” Wolda said in an email to The Villager.

Granados said he learned his name had been removed from the ballot after he attended what he described as a ceremony at the township offices the last week of August that was intended to determine the order of all the candidates’ names on the ballot.

“Last week, when I went to the offices for a ceremony see see whose names goes first and second on the ballot, at that moment, the assistant to the (township) president came to me and said my name would not be on the ballot due to an irregularity,” Granados said. “I requested an appeal and a meeting with Don Norrell.”

Granados claims he asked for the township to reconsider accepting his application, but after several days he received a letter informing him he could not appear on the ballot.

“I have lived in Texas for 32 years. I have lived in The Woodlands for 30 years. I filled out (the candidacy form) as much as possible except those blocks. I thought this would be filled in by the notary. She said to leave it blank,” Granados claimed. “Then I received a letter from (township officials) that said the Secretary of State told the township that the application could not be accepted.”

Wolda refused to answer questions about the specific nature of Granados’ claims about the notary in question, and he referred all questions to a letter sent to the township from the law firm Schwartz, Page & Harding L.L.P. that detailed case law regarding the issue.

The letter includes information about when a candidate does not fill out the residency information and how that omission mandates the candidacy application be rejected. The letter also explains that, by law, township officials are prohibited from providing, “legal or administrative advice or assistance to candidates or prospective candidates.”

Granados said he is very disappointed about being removed from the ballot. A lifelong engineer who formerly worked for General Electric, the 67-year-old said he now owns a private engineering consulting firm. His platforms for seeking office, he added, included slowing down development of residential and commercial sites in The Woodlands as well as opposing any roadway expansion projects.

“Nobody ever opposes the (Board of Directors). They do whatever they want. I just wanted to do something good,” he said. “I liked — or I used to like — this community. They are destroying the forests. They are expanding the roads. This is going to be a nightmare. I tried to do something good.”

After the removal of Granados name from the ballot, his opponent — incumbent John Anthony Brown — will now run unopposed. The two seats being contested are those of incumbents Brian Boniface and Bruce Rieser. Boniface is being challenged by Treva Taglieri and Rieser is being challenged by Francis “Frank” Dargarvage. Township board Chairman Gordy Bunch is also seeking re-election, but he is running unopposed.

jeff.forward@chron.com

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