Suzanne Wooten has ended her campaign for judge of the 401st District Court, after the Texas Supreme Court denied her appeal for a spot on the March primary ballot.

The former district court judge had filed to run for the open seat, but the Collin County Republican Party said she was ineligible.

Texas law requires judicial candidates to have been practicing law for the four years prior to the election. Due to what was later found to be a wrongful conviction, Wooten’s law license was suspended in 2012 but reinstated in 2017 when she was exonerated. Wooten argued the suspension was voided, so it’s as if she was licensed the entire time. But Collin County’s GOP chairman—who is responsible for certifying primary candidates’ eligibility before placing their names on the ballot—said Wooten could not have been a “practicing lawyer” while her license was suspended.

Wooten challenged her disqualification in court and lost. After the Fifth Court of Appeals denied her petition, she appealed to the Texas Supreme Court and was again denied.

In a press release, Wooten’s campaign said she decided “the prudent decision” was to end this campaign, but she is “not finished with her fight:”

Judge Wooten has a pending civil rights lawsuit against the same individuals who worked to secure wrongful convictions that removed her from office and overturned the overwhelming will of the voters. The continued efforts to keep Judge Wooten from the bench provide even further evidence that the harm inflicted by the wrongful prosecution is vast and ongoing. Judge Wooten looks forward to vindication in federal court and she fully intends to seek judicial office once again.

Her lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleges wrongful prosecution by then-District Attorney John Roach Sr. as well as Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who was the state’s attorney general at the time.

Three Republican candidates for the 401st remain on the March 3 primary ballot: George Flint, Sarah Fox, and Brook Fulks.

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.