Fort Worth’s Burnam ends fight to overturn primary defeat

State Rep. Lon Burnam of Fort Worth has ended his fight to overturn his election defeat in the March 4 Democratic primary. Burnam, who lost to Fort Worth businessman Ramon Romero Jr. by 111 votes, challenged what he said was an effort to benefit his opponent through the illegal use of electronic devices to collect signatures for mail-in ballots. On June 5, Burnam said he and his legal team “submitted paperwork to end my challenge to the primary election results for House District 90.” Burnam’s statement went on to say: “I did not make this decision because I believe my opponent won fairly, or that our suspicions of illegal conduct in the election have not played out. Indeed, our investigations revealed far more illegal activity than I initially suspected.”

Burnam said he made the decision because the Texas Supreme Court denied the final appeal for a subpoena to see county vote-by-mail records. That, he said, made it impossible to prove his allegations. “These records will become public after the general election in November, and I plan to revisit the issue at that time,” he said in a statement. The election outcome ends Burnam’s 17-year political career as the representative of House District 90 in inner-city Fort Worth. He is currently the dean of Tarrant County’s 11-member delegation in the State House of Representatives. Without a Republican opponent in the general election, Romero, who grew up in the Polytechnic neighborhood, will be the first Hispanic state House member from Tarrant County. if the election results remain in force. Hispanics comprise nearly 76 percent of the district’s population. – Robert Francis, with material from the Fort Worth Businss Press archives