DALLAS (CN) - LULAC sued a Dallas personal injury attorney and former state lawmaker, claiming he's not eligible to run for its national president.
The League of United Latin American Citizens sued Domingo Garcia in Dallas County Court, seeking declaratory relief to block his candidacy.
LULAC claims that though Garcia has been a lifetime member 2006, he was not an active member of any LULAC council in good standing in 2009 or 2012.
LULAC says its constitution explicitly requires national officers to have been an active member of a local council for at least three consecutive years at the time of election.
"When Mr. Garcia first expressed his intention to run for President of LULAC, he was informed that ... he was not eligible to serve as a national officer," the complaint states.
"However, on March 28, 2013, Mr. Garcia announced his candidacy for president of LULAC, notwithstanding, in his words, an acknowledged 'challenge to my qualifications.'"
LULAC claims that allowing a member to hold national office without adequate service on a local council threatens its identity and the president's legitimacy.
"The LULAC Constitution's eligibility criteria matter," the complaint states. "LULAC's work, although national in scope, is built on and grows out of its local councils. LULAC must ensure that is leadership has fully and adequately served within the organization's ranks to understand its mandate and respond to its challenges." Garcia's candidacy comes 7 months after he lost the Democratic Party's primary runoff election for the newly created seat in the U.S. House for the 33rd Congressional District of Texas.
U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, defeated Garcia and went on to win the general election. The 33rd District stretches from east Fort Worth through the suburbs of Arlington and Grand Prairie and into southern Dallas.
Garcia received his law degree from Texas Southern University in 1983. He served on the Dallas City Council from 1991 to 1995 and was elected mayor pro tem in 1993. He served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1992 to 2002.
LULAC seeks declaratory judgment that Garcia is not eligible to serve as national president.
It is represented by Jeffrey Tillotson with Lynn Tillotson in Dallas.