The Kyle Report

The Kyle Report

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Secretary of State’s office torpedoes Rizo’s council candidacy

Robert Rizo had every reason to believe he lived inside the city limits of Kyle, if, for no other reason, than the fact he’s been billed for and dutifully paid his city property taxes for close to three decades, if not longer. It was only when he filed to run for the District 2 seat on the Kyle City Council that he learned otherwise.

A copy of Rizo’s application to be a candidate, along with the applications of the nine other candidates who filed to run in the November election, were sent to the Secretary of State’s office, which oversees all elections in Texas and which reviews all such applications to make sure all the candidates meet all the state eligibility requirements. And that’s when, multiple sources have told The Kyle Report, the Secretary of State’s office informed city officials that, while a small sliver of the land Rizo has been paying taxes on lies within the city limits, the overwhelming majority of it, including the residence Rizo listed on his application and, even more importantly, on his voter registration, does not. Thus, the Secretary of State’s office ruled, Rizo was ineligible to run because state law requires a candidate to be registered to vote "in the territory from which the office is elected."

The city, these sources said, tried to find some kind of a loophole to let him stay on the ballot, but, in the end, were not successful.

The only upside of all this for Rizo, the sources confirmed, is that he is eligible for a refund on the city property taxes he’s paid, but only those he’s paid during the last five years. None of the sources who talked about this on background said they knew of a legal recourse available to Rizo to get his name back on the ballot, meaning Tracy Scheel will become the next city council person for District 2 following the November elections.

Bill Sinor was also indirectly affected by the Secretary of State’s ruling. Sinor originally filed to run for the District 2 seat, but subsequently withdrew his candidacy for that position and threw his hat into the ring with three others to run for mayor. I do not know whether Rizo’s decision to run in District 2 had any effect on Sinor’s decision to drop out of that race, but records show Sinor withdrew after Rizo filed.

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