A conservative group that lists a Texas lawmaker on its governing board has filed a lawsuit claiming that Dallas County violates the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against white people. The suit filed in federal court Thursday by the Dallas-based Equal Voting Rights Institute argues that whites are a racial minority in the county and have been unable to elect their chosen Republican candidates to the Commissioners Court. It asks a judge to throw out the county’s district map and order a new one before the 2016 elections. “Like something out of the bad old days, a southern electoral body [is playing] naked racial politics, intentionally using its power to minimize a dissenting race’s political sway,” the suit says. Newly elected state Rep. Matt Rinaldi is one of four people on the institute’s oversight board, according to the group’s website.
County Judge Clay Jenkins said Thursday that he hadn’t seen the lawsuit and couldn’t comment on its rationale. But he said he feels confident that the county isn’t discriminating against anyone. “We want to ensure that everyone’s voting rights are protected,” he said.
The county’s district map was cleared by the U.S. Department of Justice before it went into effect, Jenkins said.
The five-person Commissioners Court actually has a white majority. Jenkins and Commissioners Theresa Daniel and Mike Cantrell are white. Daniel is a Democrat and Cantrell is a Republican. There is one black commissioner, Democrat John Wiley Price, and one Hispanic commissioner, Democrat Elba Garcia.