Three Charged with Election Fraud for the 2020 Democratic Primary
Jo-Carolyn Goode | 12/11/2020, 2:52 p.m.
Election news is making headlines once again but this time the news is not coming from Washington but from right in our own backyard.
ABC13.com was first to report that three individuals are facing charges related to an alleged attempt of tampering with the 2020 Democratic Primary.
District Attorney Kim Ogg told reporters, "Those indicted today crossed the line from dirty politics to criminal activity and they will pay the price.”
Races for the Texas House Districts 132 and 142 are the elections at the center of the action.
Natasha Demming is said to have created a ghost candidate by the name of Natasha Ruiz in an attempt to dwindle support for State Rep. Harold Dutton. It is also thought Demming was trying to garner support for a Latino candidate according to Ogg. Demming is believed to have enlisted the help of Richard Bonton to become an official candidate under the false name. Demming now has multi-charges including felony tampering and election fraud. Bonton is also charged with felony tampering.
Dutton was forced into a run-off and ultimately won re-election.
The third person charged is not associated with the above case. Democratic consultant Damien Jones is accused of attempting to threaten State Rep. Gina Calanni of District 132 to bow out of the race instead running for re-election. Ogg said that Jones made threats via text messaging to Calanni in December of last year. Instantly scared and alarmed, Calanni reported the incident to the Texas Rangers. An investigation opened with the Texas Rangers and the Harris County District Attorney's Office Public Corruption Division on the case. As a result, Jones was formally charged two Class A misdemeanors. If convicted, he could spend up to a year in jail and pay a $4,000 fine.
This is an ongoing story.