Texas AG Paxton sues Denton school district over electioneering allegations

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Denton school district, alleging that two administrators sent emails to employees urging them to vote for Republican candidates who support public education and allowing them to take time off to vote.

Paxton announced in a news release that the lawsuit was filed on Thursday.

According to the lawsuitsuit, Lindsay Luján and Jesús Luján sent emails from their school accounts to employees encouraging them to vote and included links to sites with information about the candidates. The two are married, according to the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Lindsay Luján is principal of Alexander Elementary and Jesús Luján is the principal at Borman Elementary.

The lawsuit also named Superintendent Jamie Wilson and school board members.

“It is absolutely improper for publicly funded entities like school districts to engage in electioneering as Denton ISD has done,” Paxton said in the news release. “State law prohibits government officials — including school district personnel — from using either their positions of authority or taxpayer resources to influence the outcome of elections.”

The school district said in an emailed statement to the Star-Telegram that officials are communicating with the attorney general’s office.

“Denton ISD has been in conversation with the Texas Attorney General’s Office, and we agree that election laws should be followed,” the district wrote.

The school board sets policies on electioneering and board members and administrators are trained concerning the policies annually, the district said.

“It is our expectation that these policies be followed,” the statement read.

The administrators could not immediately be reached for comment.

The attorney general’s lawsuit included exhibits showing the emails that the principals sent to their employees.

Lindsay Luján sent her email on Feb. 5, telling employees to register to vote and that educators are being held “hostage as millions of dollars are being held up over vouchers.”

“The Texas Legislature has not increased the public school allotment per student since 2019 even with inflation going up! No school in Texas, including Denton ISD will NOT be able to provide raises next year if legislation doesn’t change!”

The email included a link to a list of candidates who were ranked based on their support of vouchers.

The employees were encouraged to sign up for times to vote, and the principals said they would give them time off to do so.

They were encouraged to vote for Republican candidates in the March 5 primary.

“No matter what your party affiliation is, Republican or Democrat. Consider thinking from a “purple” mindset in future elections, voting for the candidate that will support public ed and funding in the future, despite their party affiliation.”

Paxton said that the attorney general’s office is seeking an injunction prohibiting school districts from “engaging in unlawful attempts to influence elections.”