In a matchup of two well qualified candidates to replace former District H council member and now Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, the Chronicle believes Houston police homicide investigator Ed Gonzalez is the best choice.
Gonzalez led former school teacher and Heights civic leader Maverick Welsh by a narrow margin in a field of nine candidates last month. They are vying to serve out the final six months of Garcia’s term, and the winner will have to run again for a full two-year term in November.
In the first round only 4.4 percent of nearly 94,000 registered voters in the district cast ballots and even fewer are expected to do so this time. That will greatly multiply the impact of each individual who does vote.
We’re up to 903 early votes after three days. It’s possible we could exceed my projection for turnout before Runoff Day. That would still make this a very low turnout affair, of course, but better than most would expect for a runoff.
Gonzalez, who lives in Lindale Park with his family, is endorsed for the council seat by the former incumbent, Sheriff Garcia, whom he served as a council community liaison. He’s also backed by an impressive roster of area elected officials, including U.S. Rep. Gene Green, Harris County Constable Victor Trevino, Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and State Reps. Ana Hernandez and Armando Walle.
In addition to his 18 years of service as a Houston policeman, Gonzalez would provide needed diversity on a 15-member City Council with only one current Hispanic member, District I’s James Rodriguez. In a city that is more than 40 percent Hispanic, an added Latino council member would be a positive development.
Well, that’s certainly been a big theme of this election. I’ll note here that the rumor mill has informed me that Rick Rodriguez, who was one of the nine original candidates for this race and who finished in fourth place with 9.54% in the first go-round, is considering a run for At Large #1 this fall. I don’t know if this is true or not, but I do know that the only way we’re going to truly increase Hispanic representation on Council is to get more Hispanic candidates to run for Council seats that aren’t H and I. For that reason, I hope that he, or someone like him, is at least considering the possibility.