When I wrote that District Clerk Charles Bacarisse was rumored to be resigning on Friday to make official the run for County Judge that everyone knows he plans to make, I figured if that if the rumor were off it'd be by being too early. Turns out, it may have been off by being a little late.
Harris County District Clerk Charles Bacarisse is expected to announce his candidacy for county judge on Wednesday, ending months of speculation about whether he would seek the job after being passed over for it earlier this year.
Bacarisse told the Houston Chronicle last week that he had no plans to declare his intentions before Labor Day. But a close political adviser, Jim McGrath, indicated Monday that Bacarisse would make it official this week.
Asked if that was true, the district clerk hedged.
"I want to wait until I speak at the press conference to say anything, for obvious reasons," Bacarisse said. "I don't want to trigger the 'resign to run' provision until I trigger it."
This comes as a surprise to me:
By state law, the county's 59 district court judges are tasked with appointing a replacement to fill the remainder of Bacarisse's term.
He was elected to a four-year term last November. If the judges fail to reach a unanimous decision, Gov. Rick Perry must order a special election to fill the vacancy.
The latest Perry can call a special election for the November ballot is Oct. 7, according to the secretary of state's office.
If the judges do not agree before then, the earliest an election can be held is on the next uniform election, May 10.
"The district judges have been aware that this was coming along and they have a committee in place," County Attorney Mike Stafford said.
"I don't think it will take them long to meet. I'd be pleasantly surprised if they came to a unanimous decision, though."
Given this, it would seem that Robert Eckels' resignation earlier this year will have the extra bonus effect of making the county spend money on a special election. How nice for us. At least we can reasonably expect it to be this November, when the city of Houston and various Harris County independent school districts would be voting anyway. Of course, if the turnout for this special election is skewed more heavily towards the city of Houston and less towards the rest of Harris County, that might very well provide a leg up for Loren Jackson. That would be a nice and somewhat ironic coda to the whole saga, I think. We'll see what happens.Posted by Charles Kuffner on August 28, 2007 to Election 2008