Today marked the start of early voting for May elections. Although there aren’t any within the Houston city limits, there is the first post-redistricting City Council election in Pasadena.
In Pasadena, Hispanic voters now face a great opportunity to win more seats in new drawn districts after the Census showed remarkable Hispanic growth, thus, making the case for more Hispanic representation. Click here for a PDF of the Sample Ballots.
The long-time Mayor, Johnny Isbell, has an opponent by the name of Gilbert Pena, a retired refrigeration businessman.
Pena said for too long the city has neglected infrastructure in the northern part of the city where he lives, has wasted public money and more recently, deprived residents of a public transit option.
“The problem is only going to get worse,” he said of the infrastructure. “Then all of Pasadena is going to have to pay for it.”
Pena, 63, said it is unfair that the city spends millions of dollars on the upkeep of the golf course but was unwilling to spend far less to continue the contract for a public transit service, even though ridership was increasing.
In District A, incumbent Ornaldo Ybarra has an opponent. Ybarra has been the lone Hispanic on the Council and the most vocal during the redistricting process. Recently, he was a candidate for State Rep. District 144; however, came up short. Ybarra is an honorably discharged US Marine, a UH grad, and a Pearland police officer. I’ve known Ornaldo and he has served his community well and deserves re-election.
In District B, Richard Serna is running against two opponents for the open seat. I met Richard recently and he’s an upstanding guy committed to his community. Serna had vied for the seat when Council filled the vacancy.
In District E, Cody Ray Wheeler is vying for the open seat. Wheeler is another UH grad, former US Marine, and comes from humble roots.
Administration clerk Richard Serna, 33, retiree Bruce Leamon, 64, and Barbara Legler, 53, an executive, are vying for district B.
Real estate broker Rick Guerrero, 51, and incumbent Don Harrison, 73, retired, are vying for district C.
Ronald Whitley, 65, an account coordinator, is challenging incumbent Pat Van Houte, 56, for district D.
Cody Ray Wheeler, 27, a tax compliance officer, and retiree Leroy Stanley, 76, are vying for district E.
Unchallenged are incumbents Phil Cayten, 68, an engineer, district F; Steve Cote, 42, who works in insurance, district G; and engineer Darrell Morrison, 52, district H.
In races like these, it’s all about turnout, turnout, turnout. Spread the word about the race to gain better representation on the Pasadena City Council.
Early Voting Locations (PDF)
Election Day Locations (PDF)