The Chron makes their first candidate endorsement for November 2023.
Houston City Council races are officially nonpartisan, but since just about everything seems partisan these days, let’s go ahead and say it: District E, the bizarrely shaped district that conjoins suburban Kingwood in the north and suburban Clear Lake in the south, appears made to elect a Republican. So it’s not surprising that both candidates for the open seat have solid Republican credentials.
Our choice is Martina Lemond Dixon, 53, currently a member of Humble ISD’s school board. If her name rings a bell, it might be because we at the Houston Chronicle Editorial Board endorsed her in the 2022 primary, when a crowded field of Republicans vied to run for county judge against Democratic incumbent Lina Hidalgo. Then, as now, we are impressed by Dixon’s commitment to service and drive to improve her community: She told the editorial board during our candidate screening that she went for a district seat, rather than an at-large seat representing the whole city, because she wanted to be the first person constituents call with problems. And surely they will.
Dixon is also board chairman of the Harris County Appraisal District — but asks that you don’t hold that against her. A year ago, Gov. Greg Abbott appointed her to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement.
Her priorities are public safety, fiscal responsibility and, as a homeowner who sustained severe damage during Harvey, flooding infrastructure.
Both Dixon and her worthy opponent, Kingwood Tea Party stalwart Fred Flickinger say they’d model themselves less on hell-raising Republican at-large member Michael Kubosh, and more on the current Republican representative of District E, the pragmatic, constituent-serving Dave Martin. We applaud their role model.
Flickinger, 60, who helps lead his family’s hydraulic equipment company, seems to view problems (and solutions) through more of a partisan lens than Dixon, and we worry he’d function more as an obstructionist rather than a constructive coalition builder.
A vote for Dixon is a vote for a government where Democrats and Republicans can work together to improve citizens’ lives. Houston needs that. And so does the rest of America.
Let’s maybe not put that much weight on one Council race. The first link in the endorsement is to an overview of the race if you want to know more about these two candidates. (There was a third candidate initially, but the new district lines had drawn her out of E, so that candidacy ended.) I don’t have a dog in this fight, but I do get press releases from Paul Bettencourt’s office about Fred Flickinger, so draw your own conclusions.