Failure to disclose contributions alleged
The Texas Ethics Commission informed Cumby mayoral candidate Ryan Horne of a formal complaint filed against him Monday, a day before polls opened for the election.
Cumby Alderman Julie Morris filed the complaint, signed Oct. 25, alleging Horne had violated five campaign rules all falling under Texas Election Code Title 15: Regulating Political Funds and Campaigns, according to the complaint. The complaint was received by the TEC Nov. 4.
Morris alleged Horne failed to include a right-of-way notice on his political signs, appoint a campaign treasurer, file pre-election reports, disclose political contributions and complete affidavit on campaign finance reports.
“By this date 10-24, Mr. Horne has only turned in to the election officer was the application for mayor candidacy,” Morris wrote in her complaint. “No signs placed within the city have the right-of-way notice as of 10-24.”
No documents were filed with complaint, and Morris’ source of information was that "provided by [the] election officer and visual inspection of candidacy signs.”
Because Horne did not appoint a campaign treasurer (which can be himself), he was not authorized to make any political expenditure or accept any contribution, according to the TEC; however, a candidate can make an appointment and file a financial report.
According to Horne, he and his stepsister spent just under $500, which would not require a report to the TEC.
For late pre-election reports, Horne may face a $500 minimum fine according to Chapter 254 of the Election Code.
Horne, who narrowly lost the mayoral seat to Douglas Simmerman 71-68 in Tuesday’s election, said the complaint made it “apparent that certain people didn’t want [him] on city council.”
Horne said he has accepted the election outcome, saying, “losing by three votes says a lot. I think the citizens were heard.
“If I needed to do something, I’ll correct it,” he said. “That was the whole point of why I was running is to do things the right way and be transparent.”
Because Horne allegedly violated a political signage rule, he said he “took up all [his] yard signs out of good faith” when he was notified by the TEC Monday morning. According to Horne, he had no signs up Monday afternoon or Election Day.
“I don’t think it had any effect on a vote,” Horne said. “It [the complaint] was very much just a tactic.”