I heard a rumor last week that HISD trustee Diana Davila, a prospective candidate for City Council District H, was dropping out of the race. I've since heard a stronger version of that rumor, from more sources. I'm not sure what precipitated that, but if true it reduces the presumptive field down to four: Ed Gonzalez,
the current Chief of Staff to outgoing District H Council Member Adrian Garcia; realtor Karen Derr; Francisco Sanchez, the Public Information Officer for the Harris County Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Management; and Hugo Mojica, who has held several positions in local government, including Chief of Staff for former Member Michael Berry. As Garcia has not yet formally resigned, the City Secretary has not yet called the election, so consider any possible lineup to be tentative until the filing deadline has passed.
One other rumor of recent vintage was that Maverick Welsh, the chief of staff to Council Member Peter Brown and a resident of District H, was considering a run for that seat. I sent Maverick a message via Facebook over the weekend, and his reply was that he was "not planning on running for City Council at this time" but would in the future. I've reproduced his answer beneath the fold for those who may be interested.
Finally, on a different note, term-limited City Council member Pam Holm in District G is apparently thinking about a run for City Controller next year; other reported possibilities are her fellow final-term members MJ Khan in F and Ron Green in At Large #4. No surprise there - in 2003, three of the four candidates were sitting Council members (Annise Parker, Bruce Tatro, and Gabriel Vasquez). We may not have a Republican candidate for Mayor, but if Holm and Khan run for Controller the GOP will at least have some representation on the citywide ballot.
UPDATE: Francisco Sanchez emails to say he is not a candidate:
It is flattering, but erroneous. I believe in public service. It is a noble profession and I wish those who seek any elective office well.
I am blessed to serve from my current post and will stay put for some time to come, or as long as I am welcome. Any help in informing your readers of my intent (or lack thereof) is appreciated.
UPDATE: I don't know where I got the idea that Ed Gonzalez is Adrian Garcia's chief of staff, but it is in error. Gonzalez is an HPD officer and a close ally of Garcia's, but he is not the chief of staff. My apologies for the error.
Maverick Welsh's response to my inquiry about the rumor he was considering a run for District H:
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 22, 2008 to Election 2009
Many friends and neighbors have asked me if I would run in District H because of my experience and what I stand for. Before working for Council Member Brown I served first as Historian then as President of the Norhill Historic District and Proctor Plaza Neighborhood Association. I also taught History at Davis High School for 4 years and Reagan High School for 2 years after that. I know and love this neighborhood and can't imagine living anywhere else in Houston.
I am not planning on running for City Council at this time, but I assure you that I will run at some point.
I must say that I really love my job as Chief of Staff for Council Member Peter Brown. I have gotten to learn so much about the inner workings of the City and how to get things done. This experience has allowed me to build great relationships with the Mayor, other Council Members, and City officials. As you know there will be a steep learning curve for anyone who is elected in District H. City governance is a complicated process that requires an understanding of best practices in other cities, good relationships with City officials, and a passion for Houston.
I am really concerned that the person elected for District H be the type of Council Member that supports Historic preservation and protecting neighborhoods. This is why I work for Peter Brown; he gets it about neighborhoods.