Today is the first day that hopefuls for Houston City Council can file a Treasurer’s report, at which time they become official candidates for said office. As noted before, that is not set in stone until the filing deadline, which is months away for the November elections and in March for the District H special election, so even though someone may be in now, they may not be in at the end; they may also switch offices, as Michael Berry did in 2003 when he abandoned his Mayoral campaign just in time to run for re-election to City Council.
I’ve been getting a lot of news about Council candidacies since last week. In District H, Maverick Welsh, the chief of staff to City Council Member Peter Brown, who had previously said he was not planning to run at this time, has changed course and made his Treasurer filing today. He will be resigning his position with Council Member Brown effective January 30. That brings the number of known candidates in H up to four.
And there may be quite a few more in District H. The word I’m hearing now, which I’d heard before it was included in an email by Carl Whitmarsh to his list this morning, is that current HCCS Trustee Yolanda Navarro Flores is getting into the race as well. I don’t have any confirmation on this, so take it for what it’s worth. I’ve also heard that former State Rep. Diana Davila Martinez – not HISD Trustee Diana Davila, who had been mentioned previously as a possible candidate but is now apparently no longer so – and Gonzalo Camacho, both of whom ran for this seat in 2003, with Martinez losing in the runoff to Adrian Garcia, as well as HPD Officer Rick Rodriguez, are looking at it. We could have ourselves a pretty big field when all is said and done.
Finally, Mike Laster, who is a former Senior Assistant City Attorney in the Whitmire and Lanier administrations and who is a founding board member of the Greater Sharpstown Management District, has filed his Treasurer’s report for District F. As I said before, I believe F is very winnable for a Democratic candidate. Laster is a former committeeman for the State Democratic Executive Committee in SD17 as well as the current chair of the Harris County Democrats (note: not the same thing as the Harris County Democratic Party) and the Sharpstown Democats, so he certainly fits that bill. I’ve met Mike and think he’s a pretty good guy, and am glad to hear that he’s getting into this race. I’ll let you know as I hear more.