in Houston, Texas
State Supreme Court candidate Debra Lehrmann looking into campaign finance allegation, cites a 'pristine ethical record'
Tuesday, Apr 27, 2010, 05:30PM CST
By Mark Lisheron

CORRECTION (6:20 p.m.): An earlier version of this story inaccurately reported a candidate in the November contest for Place 3 on the Texas Supreme Court and misidentified a retiring justice's political affiliation. Texas Watchdog regrets the errors.

Tarrant County District Judge Debra Lehrmann said a few minutes ago that she was taken by surprise by a filing of a campaign finance violation against her by the left-leaning watchdog group Texans for Public Justice.

Lehrmann, who is running for the Place 3 spot in the Texas Supreme Court, is accused in a complaint filed with the Ethics Commission of accepting $20,100 from a single donor during the Republican primary. State election laws have a ceiling of $5,000 in donations by a single donor.

Lehrmann said people from her campaign were looking into the allegation today.

"I was surprised because we have always taken such precautions in following campaign finance laws," Lehrmann said. "We have maintained a pristine ethical record in all of our campaigns, and we will bend over backwards to make sure there isn't even the appearance of something wrong."

Lehrmann finished second out of six candidates in the Republican primary and then won the runoff. She faces Houston Court of Appeals Judge Jim Sharp in November. Justice Harriet O'Neill, a Republican, is retiring after two six-year terms on the state's highest court.

Contact Mark Lisheron at 512-299-2318 or

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