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Endorsement watch: For Ellen

The Chron endorses CM Ellen Cohen for a third term.

CM Ellen Cohen

CM Ellen Cohen

District council members don’t usually make national headlines, but last summer Councilwoman Ellen Cohen got her 15 minutes of fame while questioning Pastor Betty Riggle’s opposition to Houston’s equal rights ordinance.

Riggle was arguing at City Hall that shopkeepers should be allowed to follow their religious beliefs when it came to discriminating against customers. The councilwoman took that rationale to its logical ends, and asked whether Riggle would defend discrimination against people like Cohen, who are of the Jewish faith.

“No, I’m not saying – yes, I am saying that. But that is not the issue that we’re talking about,” Riggle clumsily responded.

The exchange made headlines in publications like The Daily Beast and the Jewish Daily Forward, broadcasting Cohen’s quick wit and tough questioning to a national audience. However, Cohen’s constituents are probably more impressed by her ability to draw down 22 percent of the capital improvement plan budget for District C.


After four years, Cohen remains an exemplar on council and deserves two more years at City Hall.

Here’s a reminder (with video) about that interaction with Betty Riggle, who committed the classic political gaffe of telling the truth. You don’t need me to remind you that I called this endorsement correctly, do you? Though I didn’t interview CM Cohen this cycle – here’s the interview I did with her in 2013 if you want to give it a listen – I’ve been a fan since she first ran for State Rep in 2006. I’m a couple of blocks east of District C, but if I lived there I’d be happy to vote for her.

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