Former Candidates Indicted for Placing Latino ‘Ghost’ Candidate on Ballot to Manipulate 2020 Primary Election
HCDP Chair Says ‘We Are Grateful to Our Justice System for Exposing, Prosecuting This Criminal Activity’
State Representative candidates Richard Bonton and Natasha Demming were indicted Friday on charges related to the House District 142 race against State Rep. Harold Dutton. Demming is accused of filing for candidacy under a false name. The “Ghost” candidate Natasha Ruiz received 20 percent of the vote on Election Day, forcing Dutton into a runoff.
“We will not tolerate any kind of election fraud and are grateful to our justice system for exposing and prosecuting this kind of criminal activity,” said Lillie Schechter, Harris County Democratic Party Chair.
Investigators believe Demming conspired with Bonton to file for candidacy under a false name. Bonton is charged with felony tampering with a governmental record and two Class A misdemeanors.
Schechter said correct processes were followed but more safeguards should be considered.
“The Party followed all procedures outlined by the state,” she said. “More safeguards should be considered in the state legislature to prevent something like this in the future.”
For Immediate Release
Dec. 11, 2020
Contact: Angelica Luna-Kaufman