From the inbox:
The early voting period for the December 6, 2014 Special Election to Fill a Vacancy for State Senate District 18 will take place Wednesday, November 26 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Monday and Tuesday, December 1 and December 2, from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
“An estimated 20,000 registered voters who reside in Harris County voting precincts 49, 119, 121, 149, 639, 901, 919 and 920 are eligible to participate in the Special Election in State Senate District 18,” informed Harris County Clerk Stan Stanart. “The SSD18 precincts are situated in west Harris County.”
Harris county registered voters can vote early at any of the three following locations:
1. Main Office: Harris County Administration Bldg., 1001 Preston, 4th Floor, Houston, TX 77002
2. Far West/Katy: Katy City Park Building #3, 2046 Katy City Park Road, Katy, Texas 77493
(NW of Katy Police Department, 5456 Franz Road and South of Mary Jo Peckham Park, 5597 Gardenia Lane)
3. Hockley: Harris County Community Center Hockley, 28515 Old Washington Road, Hockley, Texas 77447
(between Premium Drive and Kermier Road).
There are five candidates vying to replace Glen Hegar who submitted his resignation from the Texas Senate after being elected Comptroller of Public Accounts for the State during the November Election. Senate District 18 spreads through 21 counties in Southeast Texas.
For information about voting by mail, list of acceptable Photo IDs to vote, or other election information, please visit www.HarrisVotes.com or call 713.755.6965.
Yes, that’s three whole days of early voting, before and after Thanksgiving. Good luck being the field director for one of those candidates. Fort Bend voters, your information for this election is here. My understanding is that there will be Saturday early voting hours in Fort Bend as well. Lucky you.
State Rep. Lois Kolkhorst, R-Brenham, is seen as the front-runner. She was first elected to House District 13 in 2000, and hasn’t faced a serious challenger since. Kolkhorst pegs border security as a top priority
“Our border surges seemingly work when we do them, so we’re going to have to look at how we secure it — and do something right and good for Texas,” Kolkhorst said. “I don’t think the federal government is going to step up and do that for us.”
The race is Kolkhorst’s to lose, said Renée Cross, associate director at the University of Houston’s Hobby Center for Public Policy and a political science lecturer. Kolkhorst has pulled in endorsements from Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, Hegar and several PACs, including the Conservative Republicans of Texas PAC.
“She’s shown a very conservative record in the house,” Cross said. “She’s a farmer, she’s got somewhat of a suburban link being in Brenham, she’s an athlete, she’s a hunter, she’s a fisher. I mean she’s got all the stereotypical Texas attributes that I think are going to play well, particularly in a very short election period.”
She’s also running a typical scare the old white people campaign, which has always worked well in this kind of election.
Her Republican challengers include Gary Gates, a real estate agent and cattle rancher from Richmond, and Charles Gregory, a businessman and the former mayor pro tem of Simonton.
Should Kolkhorst win, Abbott will have to call a special election for her House district. Kolkhorst has not resigned from her seat, so will stay in the legislature if she loses.
Democrat Christian E. Hawking, a lawyer from Rosenberg said she found out about the election just days before she filed to run. She previously ran unsuccessfully for a city council seat.
“I am optimistic, you have to be,” Hawking said. “I think this is exciting. It is a clean slate; we get to pick someone new. And I think that I’d be good at it.”
Democrat Cynthia Drabek, who recently ran unsuccessfully for Texas House District 85, also filed to run. Both Drabek and Hawking said public education funding is a top priority for them.
I wasn’t sure there would be a Democratic candidate in this race, given the lightning-speed turnaround on it. Bill White scored 35.7% in 2010, so the odds of a Dem even making a runoff are pretty low. Drabek received 9,628 votes for 33.4% in HD85, which was 1,130 fewer votes and 0.2 percentage points less than Linda Chavez-Thompson in 2010. As for Kolkhort’s HD13, in case it opens up, White got 32.1% in 2010, and Michelle Petty was the high scorer in 2012 with 26.0%. Not a whole lot to work with there, but as I said for HD17 it’s not like there’s anything to lose by trying.