March 11, 2009
Derr to run for At Large #1

As we know, City Council hopeful Karen Derr missed the official filing deadline for the District H special election, and thus will not be on the ballot on May 9. Anyone who has driven through the Heights lately has observed that she had quite a few visible supporters, and from what I know many of them had been urging her to try a write-in candidacy. According to a press release dated March 9 on her website (which I didn't get but others clearly did), she has decided to run for At Large #1 in November instead. From the release:

After much encouragement from supporters of the Karen Derr Campaign for City Council District H., Karen Derr has decided to continue her dream as a public servant to the City of Houston by running for a vacant At-Large position. Many of her supporters have asked that she continue to run and be a voice at the City Council table for all of Houston neighborhoods.

Karen Derr stated, "I have been working hard for years visiting civic clubs, organizations, and most importantly-talking with everyday people about the issues that concern them. I believe that a Council Member should truly represent all people and serve with responsive government. As your next At-Large Councilmember, I am ready and committed to improve our quality of life, provide efficient quality constituent services and fight crime in our streets."

There's now a Facebook group for her redirected campaign and her campaign website has been updated. I think this is a better choice than the write-in route, though that could have raised the interesting question of whether or not a write-in candidate who makes it to a runoff gets listed on the ballot for the runoff; I haven't combed through the Elections code sufficiently to try to find an answer to that. I expect she'll have to answer questions about how she managed to miss the filing deadline for the May election, probably many times. I don't know how big a deal that will be to voters. I do know that the filing deadline for the November election is Wednesday, September 3 at 5 PM - assuming there are no special elections to be held in November, that date will be true for everyone - and that I recommend all candidates take care of that piece of business well in advance of the deadline, just in case. (Houston Politics says "mid to late August, according to the City Secretary's office"; I'm not sure where they're getting that from, but the point about filing early remains. Checking with them to be sure is also a good idea.) There are two other potential candidates of which I'm aware for At Large #1, former HCC Trustee and 2005 candidate for District C Herman Litt, and Steve Costello, who is the head of the Memorial Park Conservancy. I'm sure there will be more when all is said and done.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on March 11, 2009 to Election 2009

My calendar shows Sept 3 is a Thursday. At least you'd be a day early rather than a day late!

Posted by: John C on March 11, 2009 11:46 AM

While I'll take your word that Ms. Derr had many visible backers, what I saw in a drive around the district a few weeks back were some signs in vacant lots and a sign in a public right of way. She's now also missed a filing deadline which really is a bottom line in getting things right in a campaign. It's nice that she links to some liberal blogs on her campaign site and all that, but I can't say I'm impressed with her start as a candidate.

Posted by: Neil Aquino on March 11, 2009 1:52 PM
Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)