November 10, 2006
The upcoming City Council special election

(Too much stuff from yesterday to do it all at once, so here's a couple of catchup posts.)

Now that we know it's inevitable, let's once again review the bidding regarding the upcoming special election to replace Congresswoman-for-a-day Shelley Sekula Gibbs.

Nandy Berry, wife of Councilman Michael Berry, and Melissa Noriega, wife of state Rep. Rick Noriega, are on a long list of prospective candidates for the at-large council seat.

Others include lawyers Jay Aiyer and Al Bennett; former district and appeals court Judge Eric Andell; former state Rep. Diana Davila Martinez; former Hispanic Chamber of Commerce CEO Richard Torres; and Councilman M.J. Khan, who holds a district seat now.

As discussed before, I believe two of those folks are not in fact running. We shall see.

In such an election, with a relatively short campaign period, the key factors are name identification and money. Candidates can start raising money when the City Council calls the election.

"I had next November in sight originally, and I still do. Whether that is moved up to May depends on how events unfold," said Melissa Noriega, who plans to run at some point.

Family issues will figure into her deliberations about running in May, she said. Her husband will be in Austin for the legislative session from January through June, and they have a 9-year-old son.

Melissa Noriega, a special projects manager for the Houston Independent School District, served as acting representative during the 2005 legislative session while her husband was on military duty in Afghanistan.

Though council members previously have been succeeded by their spouses, Nandy and Michael Berry would be the first couple to serve simultaneously if she won the special election.

Michael Berry is term-limited at the end of 2007, but the Berrys would serve together for several months. That will weigh into her decision, Nandy Berry said.

"I can't get away from the fact or want to get away from the fact that Michael is my husband," she said. "I want people to focus on my thoughts and accomplishments."

Berry is senior counsel at the law firm Locke, Liddell & Sapp, and she previously worked as a securities attorney for El Paso Corp.

Not much to add to this other than my heartiest endorsement for Melissa Noriega, who will make an excellent Council member. If she wins, that will be by far the best thing to come out of Shelley Sekula Gibbs' campaign for Congress.

Oh, and I may as well use this opportunity to give a plug to ABC13's Miya Shay, whose new blog is a welcome addition to the scene. You don't have to read it too long to see she's got the knack for the style, which is something I can't say about all blogging journos. She adds her take on the Shelley Special Election here.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on November 10, 2006 to Election 2007 | TrackBack