May 18, 2005
More HD143 stuff

More jockeying for HD143: The Chron's Kristin Mack fills in a few blanks on some of the potential contenders whose names have floated up so far.

[Ana] Hernandez, who has three legislative sessions under her belt, has won [Rep. Jessica] Farrar's endorsement. Moreno's mother, Alice, will be Hernandez's campaign treasurer, the family confirmed.

Other prospective candidates mentioned in political circles are Dorothy Olmos and Al Flores, both of whom have run against Moreno; Roy Zermeno, an SBC lobbyist; and Laura Salinas, the niece of former state Reps. Diana Davila Martinez and Roman Martinez.

Former Houston Councilman John Castillo is supporting Flores, and [consultant Marc] Campos has signed on to run Salinas' campaign.

Diana Davila Martinez lost a runoff for the City Council District H race in 2003 to Adrian Garcia. Garcia was one of several current and former pols who attended a meeting several days ago (as Mack reports) to discuss possible replacements for Joe Moreno. Mack notes that the meeting did not include Rep. Farrar or any other current state rep, though it did include Sen. Mario Gallegos, who had previously represented HD143.

Capitol Inside adds some more detail (sent to me via email):

The early frontrunners appear to be Ana Hernandez, a corporate attorney who served on Moreno's staff in Austin, and Laura Salinas, a recent University of Houston graduate whose aunt [Davila Martinez] represented a neighboring House district in the 1990's. Jose Medrano, a Democrat who also as Capitol staff-level experience, and James Rodriguez, an aide to Houston City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, are also considering bids for the open state House seat in a special election later this year.


At least two Republicans including former primary challenger Al Flores are also exploring possible special election bids. Flores proved to be Moreno's toughest re-election competition when he forced a Democratic primary runoff in 2002 after the incumbent captured 47 percent of the vote in round one. Moreno received 61 percent to win the runoff against Flores, who has since switched parties. While the district is a Democratic bastion, a viable Republican might have a chance at forcing a runoff if Democrats are split in a low turnout election.

Like Moreno, Medrano and Hernandez both worked for Democratic State Rep. Jessica Farrar, a close friend of the late lawmaker and a former employer when he managed her campaign and her Capitol office as the chief of staff. Farrar has indicated that she plans to back Hernandez in the special election contest to fill the void left by Moreno's death. Medrano left Farrar's staff to go into business five years ago. Hernandez went to law school and now works as an attorney for ConocoPhillips in Houston.

Governor Rick Perry appears to have two options when he sets the date for the special election for HD 143. With the Legislature still in session, the governor could declare the open seat an emergency situation and set the date for a special election 30 days from the day it's called. Or Perry could set the special vote for the next uniform election date in November. (Note: I have seen it written elsewhere that the next such date is September 10. -- CK)

Gallegos indicated that Moreno's family might prefer the earlier date for the special election for the sake of closure. In addition to the district's lack of representation in Austin, Moreno's staff has been in limbo since the night he died.

Obviously, a 30-days-out election would cause a huge and chaotic stampede, but that doesn't mean it's less preferable to waiting until September or November. This race is a sprint any way you slice it - the question is whether it's a 100-meter dash or a mile.

Back to Mack's story:

The early political maneuvering is creating sore spots among people who often have been allies.

"Joe actually had a plan," Farrar said, referring to her impression, and that of Moreno's family, that he was grooming Hernandez as a successor.

Gallegos, who isn't yet backing a candidate for Moreno's seat, said the race could be bitter, and pointed out that political powerbrokers won't necessarily settle it.

"There could be some bloodletting," he said, adding, "Just because you're not the chosen one doesn't mean you don't have a chance. This seat belongs to no one except the constituents of District 143, and they will have the final say."

With all due respect to Rep. Farrar, what Joe Moreno might have wanted is a consideration, but not a condition. Sen. Gallegos is correct. Anyone who claims to be an anointed successor may well face a backlash. Run on your merits, and may the best candidate win.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on May 18, 2005 to Election 2005 | TrackBack

Read between the lines- the people who wanted to annoint a successor are the people who met before our beloved State Rep. was even buried. To me, it looks like Farrar is simply trying to present to the voters the best person to carry on her friends legacy.

Posted by: Blanca on May 18, 2005 10:30 AM

Marc Campos has referred to his new client as an "impressive" young lady "who got knocked up when she was 17." Why does anyone continue to let this guy have a stake in anything?

Posted by: Scarlett0 on May 18, 2005 10:47 AM

James Rodriguez told me he wasn't running.

Posted by: Red Dog on May 18, 2005 1:10 PM

Tell the rest of the story....this single mom continued her education and was elected twice as Student Regent for UH, President of HBSA (Hispanic Business Student Association) and a graduate of Bauer's prestigious Program for Excellence in Selling.

Scarlett...not bad for a single mom?

Posted by: AGarcia on May 18, 2005 2:24 PM

If Marc Campos says that stuff about his own client, it is no surprise that he's already bad-mouthing the other candidate. All he's good for is talking smack. What a jerk.

Posted by: Scarlett0 on May 18, 2005 3:11 PM

Some comments have been said about who's qualified to run; residency requirements; etc. The Texas Constitution is very specific. Go to

Posted by: ASM on May 18, 2005 4:17 PM


Posted by: UH Student on June 10, 2005 3:31 PM

Campos is beyond an opportunistic and self serving creature. AGarcia there is nothing impressive about being elected to the UH system student government. I would hardly call Ms. Salinas a success story. While it is commendable that she went on to continue her education let us not forget a little thing called family values and morality. Getting pregnant at 17 and being an unwed mother and a woman that has been married/engaged over 3 times hardly deserves praise when it comes to such a subject. We must examine what truly qualifies one to hold an office...are campus leadership and promiscuity now acceptable as "representative" of the people?

Posted by: Wake Up!!! on June 10, 2005 4:48 PM

Be careful where you point that finger. You have 3 fingers pointing right back at you. The last time I looked (about 3 seconds ago) not one politician was up for Saint Hood.

Posted by: Be Careful on July 18, 2005 10:15 AM

What are y'all even talking about? Yes, I think it's commendable to work a job, raise a child on your own, and still make the "minimum GPA" and have the "strong university involvement" that is required to serve as a regent. It feels like some of you have never been to this part of the city. A lot of kids from 143 don't go to college at all. A lot of girls who have children don't graduate high school. I for one think one thing that "qualifies" a representative is actually being from the area, knowing what it's like to live there and the struggles many of them go through.

Posted by: Another UH Student on July 28, 2005 2:39 PM

I for one applaud Laura Salinas for overcoming certain situations in her past. I too became pregnant at an early age but nonetheless, refused to become a statistic and live off the govt. Laura is not state rep yet, but think aboutit,she made a difference in my life without knowing, can you imagine the positive impact she can create if she makes it her job to make a difference. Yeah, it makes you wonder! When I got preg at 15 I was scared out of my mind I thought the world was over for me, but when I saw how triumphant Laura was then I knew their was hope. So thanks to Laura I finished High School, continued college and hold a great job with the school district oh yeah and still continue to go to school. How do you like them apples. I think she's earned her bragging rights. Laura, probably does not remember me well she probably doesn't remember me at all, but I thank her for all she inspired me to pursue.

Posted by: Milby student on August 14, 2005 12:39 AM

To all the young people who chose to have premarital sex and become pregnant at a young age that is something you chose to do. Just because you go to college and get your degree doesn’t make you qualified to become a state representative. I understand the struggles of being a young mother, but come
on, just because you have a child, OUT OF WEDLOCK, and go to school, with more financial aid than the regular person is entitled to, doesn't make you qualified to represent your district and be the voice for all to hear. The only thing I hear her preaching about is that she is from that district, that is her only platform. JUST BECAUSE YOU GRADUATE DOESN'T MAKE YOU QUALIFIED.

One more thing, has anyone checked into her background.
Please do so you will find out some pretty interesting things about her life.

Posted by: DAC on August 17, 2005 11:55 AM

Wow, I couldnt agree more. Aside from the fact that she never changed her voter reg. the entire 10 years she was in college...including the time she was shacked up with two seperate men (neither of whom she was married to) she has no legs to stand on. WI'd certainly entertain the issue of "residency" too if I had "lived" in the district for 10 years but not been active for a vast majority of that. This woman is a self serving opportunist that wants to be applauded for getting pregnant at 16 and finishing school.

Great point, lets do some research into her past. I find it interesting that she asked numerous houston night clubs to remove less than "professional" pictures of her from their well as the fact that she has questionable morals which has obviously been soundly demonstrated!

Oh yeah, public records....lets talk about the domestic violence she instigated...that's RIGHT, Ms. Salinas is a former husband abuser...look into it people. Is this the kind of unbalanced person we want representing us.

Posted by: Vic on September 27, 2005 5:29 PM

I for one think it's great that two Latinas are throwing their hats in the politcal three ring circus. However, I think it is plain to see one is obviously more qualified than the other. Graduating college and law school with honors by the time you are 25 AND serving 6 consecutive years in the legislature or someone that got pregnant at 16 and then went on to finish college with the minimum gpa after 10 years.

Perhaps Ms. Salinas can share some tips with the residents of her district on how she a single mother can afford to campaign, take care of her son, pay for rent, utilities, gas (which today is no small feat) all while NOT WORKING...yes she is UNEMPLOYED...and FYI people, she was working at Moody Rambin Int. as a part-time secretary. Let's think about with 6 sessions under her belt or part time secretary as a law maker? I find it insulting that Salinas thinks the people of her district can be hoodwinked by her "success story"

How about we not continue to sugar coat and perpetuate teen pregnancy which is rampant in the Hispanic community as well as Dist. 143.

Posted by: Danielle on September 28, 2005 9:57 AM

Yeah, Yeah. We can all pretty much slim down the District 143 race to Ana Hernandez and Laura Salinas. We all know it bugs Laura that Ana hasn't lived in the district as long as she has, and it bugs Ana that Laura hasn't had as much politic experience. However, even though the person who represents this district is a big essential, the PEOPLE IN THE DISTRICT ARE FAR MORE IMPORTANT. The district just needs A GOOD VOICE! Ana can be good candidate since she has the experience, but Laura has handled so much at such a young age. What would be so bad about her learning more about politics and actually having that experience in her life. Well, i'm not here to pick sides, but If this campaign is REALLY ABOUT THE PEOPLE (how both SALINAS AND HERNANDEZ say in their flyers and websites) then why are there HARDLY any SIGNS POSTED AROUND THE PASADENA AREA? Has anyone forgotten that Pasadena is part of District 143? It is just not Magnolia and DH. I think someone should get on the ball and head over to Pasadena. IT HAS PLENTY OF VOTERS YOU KNOW!!!

Posted by: Just Me on October 19, 2005 11:26 AM

Actually, this is going to be an interesting race. Turn-out is going to be everything (since it's going to be very low).

I would actually say that the top 3 candidates in this race are Ana Hernandez, Rick Molina, and Al Flores. Laura comes in fourth. Since most of you are shills, and don't actually follow the race, Laura has been notably absent except for DH. Ana, Rick and Al have been everywhere. You have to give Ana an advantage because of institutional support and money, but she's a weak candidate (believe it or not, your median voter usually doesn't vote for young, inexperienced candidates). Al Flores and Rick Molina represent your typical voter (educated, accomplished, family men). Al has the benefit of having ran this race before, so he has a small cache of name id and connections (believe it or not)--although, even if he were to win this race, he probably couldn't win a run-off (you can bet the other candidate will paint him Republican). Rick is probably the best all around candidate, but there is a question if Pasedena will come out (where he is the strongest). All in all, I would be very surprised if Laura made the run-off (of course, Marc probably has a few tricks up his sleeves for the very end).

Don't delude yourselves folks. It's going to be close race.

Posted by: Deep Throat on October 19, 2005 1:35 PM

District 143 is a strongly Democratic district. Al Flores can change his affiliation, but people remember that he is a Republican. As far as that "family men" crack, aren't you insinuating that Flores and Molina are strong candidates because they are men? "Family Man" Rick Molina has only been married to his 21 year old wife since June, right around the time his baby was born and he got into the race. Ana Hernandez has more legislative experience than all the other candidates put together. Deep throat? Well, I won't argue with you on that one.

Posted by: Marie on October 23, 2005 1:14 AM

Let's face it people-the turn out in this district is pathetic. In reality-it's anybody's race. It's clear to me that Ana Hernandez is an outstanding candidate that has been dedicated to the constituents of 143 for the past few years. Ana has not only committed herself to the community she resides in, she has also committed herself to mentoring young Hispanic women and has served as a role model to many. Latinas on the Rise gives many girls interested in politics and furthering the influence of the Hispanic community experiences that would otherwise not be possible. Ana is an ideal role model because of her political, professional and personal success.

Then we've got what some would call the "underdog story of the year" I think it's disgusting that Laura Salinas, who may not have "power brokers backing her" but certainly has "high powered consultants" in her corner is being called one of the front runners? Are you kidding me? I have more experience than this chic and I by no means think I am qualified to be a Texas Law Maker. I think it's great when Latinas throw their hats into the political arena...but with odds against them already-lets make sure they are QUALIFIED to be our representatives and role models. Marc Campos must be stopped.

Posted by: Mariana on October 27, 2005 4:24 PM

I have known Ana Hernandez's ex-husband since high school. All this talk about Ana Hernandez being an ideal role model is very very funny. No one knows that she was even married much less that she has a child. I don't know why Ana Hernandez is so secretive and deceptive about her marriage and child. I really don't know why Salinas did not mention this when she was being attacked. Salinas was too nice. To hear Ana talk about fighting for kids is funny when she could not even raise her own. The house that she claims she owns was transferred to her by her ex-father-in law. Ana still lives outside the district--she just uses her father-in-law's house for politics. Ana has been very deceptive about a lot of things; marriage, kids, residency. The secret about her having a kid is the biggest lie. Politicians lie about a lot of things like money, their background, and honesty. But to lie about kids--that's where you have to draw the line. It's funny to hear people talk about her as a role model because people don't really know her.

Posted by: reypen on December 20, 2005 10:55 AM

^ You can stop lying now. Rep. Hernandez has taken office and story time is over.

Posted by: Marie on December 21, 2005 6:58 PM

Marie...right on! I am glad she got it! The men in this election were definitely not the ones that should have taken it! I know one of their young wives...and I can't say much about him if he is with her.

Posted by: Anonymous on December 22, 2005 12:05 PM