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Republican candidate's Twitter account still identifies her as Democrat

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Some Republican office holders are often criticized as RINOs - Republicans In Name Only. A judicial candidate in Dallas, Texas, however, has taken that concept one step further, by forgetting to update her Twitter account, which still identifies her as a Democrat.

In 2010, Judge Susan Hawk switched parties from Republican to Democrat and was reelected to the bench in the 291st Judicial District. It was a smart move in a county going Democratic blue while the rest of Texas went Republican red. In the past, she was even endorsed by Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price. In 2013, however, Hawk saw an opportunity for political advancement, by challenging Craig Watkins for Dallas District Attorney. According to the Dallas Morning News, Hawk said the Democratic leadership in Dallas supported Watkins, so rather than facing him in a primary (and surely losing), Hawk switched back to the Republican party to go ahead-to-head with him in the November 2014 election.

Hawk may talk like a loyal Republican now, and she has a number of local GOP leaders endorsing her. However, she forgot to remind her old Twitter account what a faithful Republican she is.

Although Hawk has a Twitter account specifically for her District Attorney run, @HawkforDA, it appears she also has an abandoned account, @JudgeSusanHawk, that still identifies her as a Democrat. The account features a campaign graphic with the words "Democrat for 291st Criminal District Court" and a personal portrait. The account is easily found via internet search, but seems to have escaped Hawk's memory. Although no tweets appear to have been posted, Judge Hawk's account does have 64 followers, including a number of local Democratic politicians, reporters, and the Dallas County Democratic Party. The account followed 82 Twitter users, including President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. Her District Attorney campaign account, on the other hand, has been active since late December and has a largely Republican slant and following.

Tom Nowak, Hawk's opponent in the Republican primary, was the first to expose Hawk's old Twitter account on his Facebook page. He used the incident to point out Hawk's professional hypocrisy. "My opponent claims she was retiring from her bench yet was holding fundraisers last June and paying printers for reelection materials in August. Nor has she updated the twitter page," he said.

Nowak is a former Dallas County prosecutor who was fired by Watkins after he attended a GOP election night watch party. It is the kind of story that should win him a lot of GOP support, and he told the Morning News that electing Hawk would play into the Democrats' hands. “Dallas County Republicans won’t be fooled by this. By having her run against me, I’m sure the Dems hope to have two Democrat candidates in the general election, but I’m confident Republican voters will see through the ruse. … I don’t think that changing your beliefs depending on the political winds is an example of integrity in a leader.”

Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at vic@victormedina.com. Click here to receive a weekly email update from WhenLiberalsAttack.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE link here or at the top of this page.

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