The HCC races have already been decided

All three races are uncontested.

Houston Community College
Trustee Elections 2023

The following candidates filed an Application for a Place on the Ballot for the November 7, 2023, HCC Trustee Elections (listed in district order):

District IV

Laolu Davies-Yemitan (Unopposed)

District V

Sean Cheben (Unopposed)

District IX

Pretta VanDible Stallworth (Unopposed)

And that’s that. I believe this means that the elections will not appear on your ballot – by Texas law, elections with unopposed candidates can be considered to be decided once the filing deadline is passed. It saves a bit of money to do that. Whether it’s a good idea from a civic perspective or not is another matter.

You may note that two of these three people are not incumbents. We have certainly seen non-incumbents get elected in uncontested races before. It’s never a great look, but here we are. I’ve done some googling, so here’s what I can tell you.

Lalou Davies-Yemitan is a real estate broker-developer; I’m friends with him on Facebook but don’t really know him. I do know he’s the husband of now-outgoing HCC Trustee Reagan Flowers. This sort of handoff from one family member to another, with there having been no indication of the incumbent stepping down beforehand (Reagan Flowers spent 2022 passionately arguing for a different HCC redistricting map, and her official Facebook page has no updates since June 22, well before the filing deadline), is also something we have seen before (see, for example, how Eva Loredo won her first election to HCC as a write-in candidate). It’s also not a great look. Davies-Yemitan has been an advocate for affordable housing, which is nice. It would have been nice for him to have had a transparent entry into this race, and ultimately into this seat.

Sean Cheben had previously run for HISD Trustee in 2017 – here’s my interview with him from that time. He will replace Trustee Robert Glaser, who as we know still has an unresolved lawsuit for sexual harassment against him out there. Glaser is a Democrat and Cheben is a Republican (though, in his favor, one who voted in favor of the Log Cabin Republicans getting a booth at the 2022 GOP state convention), so I doubt there was any coordination. I think Glaser just decided to quietly go away, and I’m okay with that. If you’re wondering what happened to Raj Salhotra, he ended his campaign shortly after it began, with an email that said “the timing of this campaign is not right as I have been unable to adequately invest in my key priorities”.

Pretta Stallworth is the lone incumbent here. She was elected in 2017, so this will be her second term. I’m sure I tried to interview her in 2017 but I did not.

So there you have it. Congratulations to Laolu Davies-Yemitan, Sean Cheben, and Pretta VanDible Stallworth for your election. May you all serve us well on the Board.

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One Response to The HCC races have already been decided

  1. Andrew Lynch says:

    A bit strange that no other candidates wanted to run

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