Trump-endorsed Texas House candidate under investigation over opponent’s looted signs
Two Republican candidates in a runoff for a state House seat in Collin County, Texas, are feuding over missing and vandalized signs — leading to a Texas Rangers investigation, a prosecutor's recusal and the possibility of felony charges against a Dallas police officer.
Driving the news: Paul Chabot, who received 36.6% of the vote and finished second in the March Republican primary for the newly constituted House District 61, tells Axios dozens of his campaign signs have been stolen or defaced and that he was interviewed by the Texas Rangers.
- Frederick Frazier, who received 42.3% of the vote and finished first in the primary, is under investigation, per a report in Rolling Stone.
The other side: In a statement to Axios, Frazier's campaign denied anyone associated with him had anything to do with what happened to Chabot’s signs. His campaign manager pointed out that Chabot made similar allegations while running for office in California in 2016.
- "Chabot, who is a serial fabulist, is doing the same thing he did in his previous losing campaign in California — which is claiming a conspiracy of people taking his signs," Frazier’s campaign manager Craig Murphy tells Axios.
Context: The new House District 61 includes several of the fastest-growing towns in Collin County: McKinney, Frisco, Celina and Anna.
- There’s no incumbent and the district leans heavily Republican.
- Frazier, a veteran Dallas police officer, has been endorsed by former President Trump, Gov. Greg Abbott and several police unions.
Details: Chabot has said several businesses where he had campaign signs stolen were visited by someone falsely claiming to be a McKinney code compliance officer.
- Impersonating a public servant is a felony in Texas.
- In December, Chabot posted photos to Facebook showing some of his signs vandalized and surrounded by "Abolish ICE" and LGBTQ flags. He told Axios he reported that to police as well.
- The district attorney of Collin County has recused his office from the case and assigned a special prosecutor to review the Rangers' findings.
What’s next: The runoff is May 24.
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