Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a Republican, filed a lawsuit against a school district in the state after two principals allegedly violated election laws by encouraging school staff, using school accounts, to vote in Republican primaries and recommend candidates. who oppose school vouchers.

Two leaked emails allegedly sent to Denton Independent School District accounts encouraged school staff to vote in the Republican primary and directed them to a scorecard showing candidates’ stances on public education funding.

An email from Alexander Elementary School Principal Lindsey Lujan dated Feb. 5 urged teachers and staff at a school in the district to vote in the Republican primary and included a link to a list of recommended state candidates who support public education and school funding while opposing school voucher programs.

“The Texas Legislature has not increased per student allocation in public schools since 2019, even with inflation rising! No schools in Texas, including Denton ISD, will NOT be able (sic) to offer increases next year if the legislation does not change” . The email is read in part. “We need to do our part for our Texas Public Schools! Here’s a list of all the candidates and whether they SUPPORT or OPPOSE Public School Education.”

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Ken Paxton

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton filed a lawsuit against a school district in the state after two principals allegedly violated election laws. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

In response to the email, Paxton sued Denton ISD for illegal election campaigning using public tax money, according to Fox 4.

The attorney general’s office accuses Luján of using his district email account to compose and send the message. It cites that the Texas Election Code prohibits the use of “state or local funds or other district resources to conduct elections for or against any candidate, measure or political party.”

The lawsuit also challenges a second email allegedly sent by Borman Elementary School Principal Jesús Luján, Lindsey Luján’s husband, to staff members at that school.

“Voting in the Republican primaries is especially important because the votes cast in the primaries inform the issues the party will prioritize,” that email reads in part. “Since Texas tends to always elect a Republican, we want to let the party know through our primary voting what issues matter to us and how we feel about them. So please vote for candidates who support public education and school funding in the Republican primaries, not “It doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is, Republican or Democrat. “Consider thinking from a ‘purple’ mindset in future elections, voting for the candidate who will support public education and funding in the future, despite their party affiliation.”

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Ken Paxton

Paxton sued Denton ISD for illegal election campaigning using public tax money. (Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The email added: “Please know that historically, 85% of PRIMARY voters in Texas want vouchers. This is why it is so important for teachers, public schools, and funding advocates to show up in the primary.”

Texas claims that both directors “flagrantly exceeded what is legal.”

The district told CBS News Texas that it has not received any communication from the Texas Ethics Commission about the emails and cannot comment publicly on personnel matters.

However, the district said it has been in communication with the attorney general’s office following the lawsuit and agrees that election laws must be followed.

Ken Paxton on the podium

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office cites the Texas Election Code that prohibits the use of “state or local funds or other district resources to campaign for or against any candidate, measure, or political party.” . (AP Photo/Eric Gay, File)

“Our Board of School Trustees adopted board policies in 2018 and 2021 regarding elections and campaign ethics, and we train all trustees and administrators on these policies annually. Our expectation is that these policies will be followed,” the district said in a statement. “The passion of our employees to serve our students and community is undeniable. The current March 5 primary election is especially important for public education. These elected officials will make crucial decisions that will impact our students, teachers, families and our district as a whole.”

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The district also encourages all registered voters to “do their homework and learn about the candidates and their positions before voting in the primary of their choice.”

The attorney general’s office cannot file a criminal complaint, but says it will “seek civil injunctive relief to obtain a court order prohibiting school districts from engaging in illegal attempts to influence elections.”

By Sam