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Harris County Dems Boot Lloyd Oliver from DA Race

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In May, Dateline Houston brought you the story of Lloyd Oliver, our latest local star of How to Succeed in Government Without Really Trying. But Oliver’s moment in the spotlight has come to an abrupt, less than dignified end.

Oliver, who has run and voted several times as a Republican in Harris County, bested Zach Fertitta in the Democratic primary race for District Attorney. Fertitta was widely respected by both parties and had been an Assistant DA since 2003. Oliver, a lawyer, said he was running because it’s “good for business.” After his win, which he attributed to “dumb luck,” Oliver said he hoped the Democratic party would send campaign funds his way so he could “get me a John Edwards $300 haircut.”

That’s not what happened. Today, the Harris County Democratic Party took Oliver’s name off the ballot, preferring to leave Republican Mike Anderson unopposed in November.

In a letter to Oliver, Harris County Democratic Party Chairman Lane Lewis said Oliver had violated party rules when he told the Houston Chronicle in May that the incumbent DA, Republican Pat Lykos, “would have gotten my vote.” But Lane added, “You should know that regardless of my decision above, the Democratic Party has determined that it will not present a nominee this election cycle” for Harris County DA.

Ouch.

Oliver was incredulous and promised to appeal to state party officials and, if necessary, bring a federal suit to stay on the ballot. He also called those who’d brought the complaint and sided against him “goobers.”

Emily DePrang joined The Texas Observer in 2011 as a staff writer covering criminal justice and public health. Before that, she was nonfiction editor of the Sonora Review. Before that, she was a waitress. She's also appeared in The Atlantic, Salon.com, and VICE. She holds an MFA in Nonfiction from the University of Arizona and has won some things, including the Public Service Award from the Society of Professional Journalists (2012), the National Health Journalism Fellowship from USC Annenberg (2013), and a nomination for a National Magazine Award in Reporting (2014). She still sometimes thinks about waitressing.