Alexandra Mealer, the upstart Republican candidate who raised millions of dollars in her unsuccessful challenge to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, is mounting another challenge to the incumbent judge, this time in a courtroom.
Mealer announced that she was pursuing a legal challenge to her loss to Hidalgo, either becoming the latest member of the Texas GOP to dabble in election denialism or showing her true colors depending on which political observers you speak to.
Mealer’s challenge cites a myriad of alleged issues with the administration of the election in Harris County that she considered voter suppression and felt weren’t addressed by a review by the county’s Election Administrator.
The challenge is as far-fetched as it was unexpected, with Hidalgo recently sworn in for her second term as the chief executive of Harris County. Hidalgo beat Mealer in a close and contentious race, but the County Judge’s margin of victory was far broader than any recount or challenge could reverse.
The broader timing of the announcement also raised eyebrows, coming on the two-year anniversary of the failed insurrection on January 6th, 2021, during which supporters of former President Donald Trump stormed Capitol Hill in an effort to thwart the certification of the 2020 election. The insurrection followed months of lies from Trump that the 2020 election was stolen in an act of massive fraud.
Hidalgo herself has been a trailblazer on voting rights during her time in office, drawing intense opposition from statewide Republicans like Governor Greg Abbott and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick for pursuing innovative approaches like drive-thru voting to encourage voters to turnout during a 2020 election cycle ravaged by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mealer, a Trump supporter, attempted to distance herself during her campaign from election denialism and the disgraced former president, whose role in inciting the insurrection is still the subject of investigations and even lawsuits.
Just this week, the family of Brian Sicknick, a Capitol Police officer who died in the aftermath of the attack on the Capitol, filed a wrongful death suit against Trump, seeking millions in damages and a public record of Trump’s culpability in the attacks.
Where is all of this heading? For Mealer, likely another defeat. For voting rights advocates, it is another chilling call to action. Trump’s Big Lie lives on, and it’s sprouting a group of little liars across the country.