An appellate court shot down one legal challenge to Republican primary candidate Brent Hagenbuch’s eligibility to run for an open Texas Senate seat, but a separate challenge to Hagenbuch’s residency in Senate District 30 will be back before a state court later this week.

Candidates Jace Yarbrough and Carrie de Moor say that establishment-backed Hagenbuch does not meet the state’s residency requirements for Senate candidates and should not be on the ballot in a district where public records indicate he doesn’t reside.

Yarbrough petitioned the Second Court of Appeals in December to “compel” Republican Party of Texas Chairman Matt Rinaldi to declare Hagenbuch “administratively ineligible to be a candidate for the Republican nomination for the senator from District 30.”

On January 10, the court declined Yarbrough’s petition without explanation.

“The decision by the court is extremely disappointing, but we will continue to fight for the truth,” Yarbrough said in response to the decision, adding that his legal team “will continue to pursue justice in this matter.”

Hagenbuch’s attorneys argued that he does reside in the district, despite documents presented by Yarbrough showing that the address in SD 30 Hagenbuch claimed as his residence belongs to his company’s office space in a commercial building.

Public records show Hagenbuch voted from his home address in SD 12 on October 29, then changed his voter registration address to his office in SD 30—just days before filing to run for the senate seat. He also claimed the office address as his residence on his candidate application.

State law prohibits registering to vote at a commercial address.

“This is an obvious fraud being perpetrated by Hagenbuch on the voters of Senate District 30, and I refuse to accept that the letter and spirit of the law do not matter in Texas,” said Yarbrough. “We are not going away.”

De Moor sued Hagenbuch and the RPT in a state district court in Denton County, “seeking swift judicial action to prevent Hagenbuch from capitalizing on his obvious violations of Texas Election Law.”

After a series of delays—including Hagenbuch’s last-minute production of a “corporate apartment sublease” for space inside his office building—a final hearing in de Moor’s case is scheduled for January 19. Counties must begin mailing ballots to overseas voters on January 20.

Meanwhile, the candidates continue to campaign.

Yarbrough, de Moor, and Cody Clark participated in a forum last week hosted by Parker County Conservatives. Hagenbuch did not attend.

SD 30 includes 11 counties: Archer, Clay, Cooke, Grayson, Jack, Montague, Young, and parts of Collin, Denton, Parker, and Wichita.

Early voting in the March 5 primary election starts on February 20.

Erin Anderson

Erin Anderson is a Senior Journalist for Texas Scorecard, reporting on state and local issues, events, and government actions that impact people in communities throughout Texas and the DFW Metroplex. A native Texan, Erin grew up in the Houston area and now lives in Collin County.