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Clinton backer challenges Texas delegates

A local Hillary Clinton supporter has filed a written challenge to 126 Texas delegates elected to attend the National Democratic Convention in Denver.

Fort Worth lawyer Jason Smith sent a credentials challenge to the Democratic National Committee Rules and Bylaws committee last week charging that the makeup of the Texas delegation violated a DNC rule.

The Texas Democratic Party allocated its delegates in part by the results of the March 4 primary and partly by the results of precinct caucuses held around the state that evening.

That arrangement is counter to a DNC rule requiring that delegate selection "fairly reflects" the presidential preference of primary voters, Smith said.

Hillary Clinton won the primary vote in Texas but Barack Obama did better in the precinct caucuses. Texas delegates going to the national convention are split 99 for Obama and 94 for Clinton.

Texas Democratic Party spokesman Hector Nieto said the state's delegate allocation plan was approved by the DNC.

Smith said he's not filing the challenge in some last-ditch bid to boost Clinton. Rather, he wants to see an end to the so-called Texas Two-Step. He estimated that Clinton would gain six delegates if the state's delegation were altered to reflect the results of the Texas primary.

"This isn't anti-Obama," Smith said. "This is anti-caucus process."

Complaints about Texas' crowded and chaotic primary process have spurred the state party to launch a committee to recommend changes.

In April, Smith filed several challenges to the results of local Senate district conventions that elected delegates to the state convention in Austin.

DNC spokeswoman Natalie Wyeth declined to comment Monday on the number of challenges received regarding the upcoming convention.

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