First Court of Appeals denies pet for mandamus in Galveston mayoral residency dispute

I got a little sidetracked with all the excitement over McCutcheon this week, but on April 1 the First Court of Appeals in Houston issued a memorandum opinion denying Don Mafrige and Elizabeth Beeton’s petition for mandamus, which asked the court of appeals to require the Galveston City Secretary to declare Jim Yarbrough ineligible for Galveston mayor under the city charter residency requirements. ┬áThe order contains no explanation, but as I indicated earlier, residency is a fact-intensive inquiry and it’s almost always fruitless to ask a city secretary or court of appeals (via mandamus) to declare a candidate a nonresident. Beeton and Mafrige might have been able to argue the factual residency issue if they had filed for an injunction in district court, but it looks like they were hoping the Galveston charter provisions were sufficiently specific to allow the court of appeals to dispose of this via mandamus. ┬áThat didn’t happen.