A circuit judge on Wednesday signed an order that requires the Texas County clerk to respond why she will not allow a write-in candidacy for the board of trustees of Texas County Memorial Hospital.

Circuit Judge John Beger told County Clerk Laura Crowley to respond  on or before March 20. A court hearing is set for 10 a.m. Monday, March 23. Crowley said earlier that a write-in candidacy is not allowed under state statute.

In a lawsuit filed Tuesday, Houston businessman Steve Pierce said he was denied the right to be a write-in candidate when arriving at the county clerk’s office last week to file paperwork.  The election is April 7.

Pierce’s attorney, Brad Eidson, said Pierce should be allowed under state statute to seek the five-year term after another candidate was disqualified. Remaining on the ballot is George Sholtz of Upton.

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