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Days Before Runoff, SD 30 Candidate Seeks to Preemptively Nullify Election Results

Jace Yarbrough Opposed Sending Illegal Immigrants to Sanctuary Cities, Said Vouchers Were “Not a Priority”

Just days before Republican voters in State Senate District 30 will go to the polls to nominate a candidate for State Senator, one candidate has asked the newly elected Chairman of the Republican Party of Texas to declare his Trump-endorsed opponent ineligible. 

In a Twitter post yesterday, candidate Jace Yarbrough announced that the members of the State Republican Executive Committee who represent Senate District 30 had hand-delivered a formal challenge to Brent Hagenbuch’s residency to newly elected Republican Party of Texas State Chairman Abraham George. 

Yarbrough, an attorney, and Hagenbuch, a businessman who formerly served as Chairman of the Denton County Republican Party, will face voters on Tuesday in the Republican runoff to replace retiring State Senator Drew Springer. In the March Republican Primary, Hagenbuch led a field of four candidates with 36.4%, followed by Yarbrough with 33.9%.

Hagenbuch has been endorsed by a variety of high-profile Republicans, including Donald Trump, Governor Greg Abbott, and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick. Yarbrough’s endorsements include the True Texas Project, an organization whose leaders have criticized Trump as “a dud” and as somebody who “didn’t deliver shit” for “white voters” and who have claimed Abbott promotes “policy driven by shekels.”

Questions surrounding Hagenbuch’s residency have been raised since the start of the campaign. However, legal challenges to disqualify Hagenbuch have been unsuccessful thus far. 

On December 15, 2023, Yarbrough submitted an administrative challenge to Hagenbuch’s residency with then-Republican Party of Texas State Chairman Matt Rinaldi. Rinaldi rejected this challenge, which is substantively identical to the challenge that Yarbrough filed with newly-elected Republican Party of Texas State Chairman Abraham George. 

Shortly after Rinaldi rejected Yarbrough’s administrative challenge to Hagenbuch’s residency, Yarbrough filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus with the Second Court of Appeals that accused Rinaldi of wrongly rejecting the challenge to Hagenbuch’s candidacy and sought to compel Rinaldi to declare Hagenbuch ineligible. The Second Court of Appeals denied Yarbrough’s petition and allowed Hagenbuch to remain as a candidate. 

A Denton County District Court also allowed Hagenbuch to remain as a candidate in the Republican Primary after another candidate, Dr. Carrie de Moor, filed a lawsuit to have Hagenbuch declared ineligible. 

In January, Hagenbuch’s campaign released a statement addressing the failed legal challenges to his candidacy. 

“Just like Donald Trump’s opponents, our opponents thought they could win this election at the courthouse. Texas judges and Texas law favor allowing the voters to make decisions about who they elect to public office. One opponent thought she could win at District Court. She lost. Another opponent thought he could win at the Court of Appeals. He lost. The third opponent couldn’t afford a lawyer, so he filed a police report instead. He is lost. Each of our opponents knows they cannot win at the ballot box. Each of them thought they had a better chance with a judge than with the voters. This strategy has failed,” said Allen Blakemore, spokesman for the Brent Hagenbuch Campaign.

Undeterred by the past failures to have Hagenbuch disqualified, Yarbrough hopes that George will be more receptive to declaring Hagenbuch ineligible. In his Twitter post addressing his new challenge to Hagenbuch’s candidacy, Yarbrough said, “While running for Texas GOP state party chairman, George was asked by Republican grassroots leaders if he would fulfill his duties to declare a candidate filing for office on the Republican ballot as ineligible if they did not meet residency requirements. George responded, “It is a simple issue. If you don’t live in the district according to the constitutional and legal requirements, you don’t get to run in that district. As a County Chair, I had to make these decisions and made them without hesitation.” 

“As the newly elected Chairman of the Texas GOP, Abraham George now leads the party that prides itself on upholding the rule of law and ensuring election integrity. I trust Chairman George will act decisively to uphold our party’s commitment to these core Republican principles,” added Yarbrough. 

The two State Republican Executive Committee members from Senate District 30, who submitted the challenge to George on Yarbrough’s behalf, have been outspoken supporters of Yarbrough’s campaign. State Republican Executive Committeewoman Rachel Horton has attacked Hagenbuch as a “fraud” and as somebody “willing to do whatever the swamp wants to do.”

Patrick Wamhoff, the State Republican Executive Committeeman for Senate District 30, has targeted Lt. Governor Dan Patrick over his support of Hagenbuch. “@DanPatrick endorsed a lying candidate for SD30 that lives in SD12. If Dan & his fraud can’t respect North Texas borders, he can’t be trusted to fix the border down south. Dan Patrick = soft on Borders,” said Wamhoff in a February tweet. Wamhoff has also brought Hagenbuch’s family into the race. In various tweets, Wamhoff has accused Hagenbuch’s son- an actor- of performing in “gay porn.”

Horton and Wamhoff are both political allies of George. Horton publicly endorsed George’s candidacy for State Chairman, while Wamhoff was a donor to George’s unsuccessful campaign against State Representative Candy Noble in the 2024 Republican Primary.

Yarbrough’s positions on conservative priority issues, including illegal immigration and school choice, have drawn attention during the campaign. In February, the Olney Enterprise reported that Yarbrough said that school vouchers were “not a priority” for him at a campaign event. 

At a debate hosted by the Collin County Republican Party on April 22, Yarbrough and Hagenbuch were asked the question, “Should Governor Abbott continue shipping illegal aliens to sanctuary cities?” Hagenbuch responded, “Yes,” while Yarbrough responded, “No.”

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