The Dallas County Republican Party on Tuesday voted to remove former Rowlett Mayor Todd Gottel as the GOP nominee for county judge and replace him with tea party conservative Brian Hutcheson, a justice of the peace who was kicked off the ballot this month because he didn’t have enough valid signatures.
Gottel, who requested that the party find another candidate in his place, would have faced incumbent Democrat Clay Jenkins for county judge, but now he will be a candidate for GOP precinct chair. Gottel was appointed precinct chair in order to give the party a valid reason to remove him as a candidate for county judge.
The former Rowlett mayor, who gained praise and prominence for his actions in the aftermath of the 2015 tornado that tore through his city, cited family and business as the reasons for his withdrawal. He said unforeseen circumstances after the March primary presented him with the opportunity to buy the financial investment firm where he had been an employee.
Hutcheson sent a statement to NBC 5 on Wednesday saying, ""It is a privilege to accept the appointment to Republican candidate for Dallas County Judge. I am honored to have the confidence and support of the Dallas County Republican Party and many others. I look forward to helping the Republican Party deliver our winning message resulting in victory in the November election."
NBC 5's Julie Fine contributed to this report.