Ruling near on House raceYusuf Abdus-Salaam is, of course, a Muslim.
By Alvin Benn
Aug. 15, 2002
A decision is expected soon in the Democratic Partys House District 67 election with lawyers for both sides in the disputed case predicting victory.
Former Selma Councilman Yusuf Abdus-Salaam led challenger LaTosha Brown by 138 votes following the June 25 runoff election. Browns lawyers said the margin of victory was created by illegal Republican crossover votes.
We have overwhelmingly won our case, Faya Toure, who represents Brown, said Wednesday. We have put into the record what we expected to prove if those subpoenaed had showed up to testify.
John Kelly, who represents Salaam, was just as convinced that Browns lawyers failed to prove their case. He said too few Republicans took the stand to testify that they voted in the runoff election, which is prohibited by the Democratic Party.
They only called a handful of voters and only a handful of them showed up to take the stand, Kelly said Wednesday, referring to Browns side of the dispute. As far as were concerned, they didnt prove a thing.
Brown, who led in the nine-candidate primary election by 1,200 votes, must prove to the Democratic Party Executive Committee hearing the case that illegal Republican votes, along with other factors, paved the way for Salaams victory.
Montgomery lawyer Terry Davis, who presided over the hearing for more than a week, said that a decision will be made by next Monday. He said it could come as soon as Friday.
Well get together on Thursday and Friday and go over the evidence gathered in this case, Davis said. Our hope is to make a decision as quickly as possible.
The loser in the dispute has the option of taking the case to the full Democratic Party or into Dallas County Circuit Court. The eventual nominee will face Republican Mark Story in the November general election.
Toure said more witnesses were not questioned during the hearing because they did not answer court orders issued for them to appear before Davis committee. She said efforts will be made to make them explain themselves.
At least 70 people did not show up after getting subpoenas, Toure said. Every last one of them would have admitted they crossed over and voted for Salaam. We fully intend to ask the district attorney to prosecute those who failed to show up for the hearing without a good reason.
Of the dozen Republicans who did testify at the hearing, 11 of them admitted they voted in the GOP primary on June 4 and then crossed over to vote for Salaam in the June 25 runoff election.
Kelly said Salaam and his supporters did not actively solicit Republicans to vote for him in the runoff. He said disallowing those ballots cast by the Republicans would, in effect, infringe on their right to vote.
Even if they can prove large numbers of Republicans crossed over, their own expert witness failed to show there were enough to take the nomination away from Mr. Salaam, Kelly said.
I can just see him taking his house seat with explosives wrapped around his a-rab waist. He may even sit close to Little Dick.