As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, contested races are what democracy is all about, and the final filings show quite a few contested races in which local Dems can choose. And in Harris County, it doesn’t matter what part of the county you live in, your Democratic vote matters in the Primary!
What may be a hotly contested race is that of County Chair in which the incumbent, Lane Lewis, is being challenged by recent candidate for City Council AL-5, Philippe Nassif. Any search will show that I’ve said nice things about both of these candidates. As I’ve told some folks, Party Chair is one of the most thankless jobs in the county which requires the ability to herd various groups and keep them happy, piss off certain people as a means of keeping said groups happy, and then, there’s also the requirement of raising money and winning elections. I still can’t tell which is more important, though. I’m noticing who’s involved in either camp and that’s all I’m saying, for now.
Adrian Garcia seems to have surprised some folks and filed to run for Congressional District 29 against long-time incumbent Gene Green. I’m not surprised, since Garcia is fresh off a campaign, probably still has an infrastructure he can implement, and it’s a great way to avoid a free-for-all that would occur if/when Green would retire with other familiar Latin@ faces who are probably ready for their next move. Garcia says he was moved to run by Donald Trump’s vitriol and the need to wake up the Hispanic electorate. With a 70% Latino population, and Latinos being forced to wait for a court to decide if there will ever be a second Latino district in Houston, Garcia seems to be in at the right time. We’ll keep an eye on this race.
Texas House District 126 has a contested race as Cris Hernandez and Joy Dawson-Thomas face off for the nomination to take on a right-winger to replace another right-winger. I haven’t read up on the demographics of the district, but it is pretty diverse. Perhaps an opportunity? We shall see.
My own State Rep. Gene Wu has a challenger in HD137. Hopefully, it’s a negligible challenger, but I’m pretty sure Wu and his folks aren’t taking this district for granted no matter the kind of challenge.
Texas House District 144 has a three-way race to hopefully kick out the GOP incumbent in a mostly Latino, yet low-propensity voter district. Mary Ann Perez is a familiar face, and Cody Ray Wheeler, a Pasadena Council Member, has been campaigning for a while. Another name is Bernie Aldape, III whom a few friends of mine seem to support and have put on my radar. This one is a race to watch.
The 11th District Court has a three-way race, too, with Kristen Hawkins, Rabeea Collier, and Jim Lewis. I’ve known Rabeea for a while from my days in Kingwood. In fact, back in ’08, she was a fierce advocate for then-candidate Obama, while I argued for more Clinton delegates to the State Convention during our district convention. We remain friends, though.
The 61st District Court provides another 3-way race, featuring Julie Countiss, Dion Ramos, and Fredericka Phillips. Of course, Ramos served the 55th District Court previously, and Phillips has served as Vice-Chair of the Texas Democratic Party. Countiss is a teacher-turned-attorney and is currently an Assistant County Attorney.
The 165th Court will be a hot race featuring former 165th Judge Josefina Rendon and Municipal Court Judge Ursula Hall. I know both quite well and I’m looking forward to watching this race.
The race for Harris County District Attorney offers up a previous candidate Kim Ogg, a perennial annoyance in Lloyd Oliver, and the first African-American elected statewide to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, Morris Overstreet. Should be fun to watch.
The race for Sheriff has current Mayor Pro-Tem Ed Gonzalez and a few other unknowns–at least in my eyes. I think one can tell whom I support.
In the race for Tax Assessor Collector, we’ll have a hotly contested race featuring Ann Harris Bennett, who has run previously and came very close to victory, as well as Texas Senate staffer Brandon Dudley. It’s a race to watch, for sure.
There are other contested races, but these immediately caught my eyes.
Look over the list of races, learn about the candidates (google them!), and make an educated choice. And keep an eye out for Kuff’s interviews.
Update: Kuff has more on statewide and regional judicial races.
Update #2: Since it was brought up to me, one of our favorite elected bigots, HCC’s Dave Wilson (the white guy that ran as a black guy for an HCC district), filed to challenge State Rep. Jessica Farrar in HD148. As I’ve told a few Dems, I’m hoping such a progressive Democratic Primary would re-elect its incumbent state rep. without much of a problem. It’s not the HCC district to which he got elected, and Farrar has served her district well-enough that Democrats should know better.