We turn now to legislative races, where there are a couple of open seats and a couple of challenged incumbents to keep an eye on. State Rep. Gene Wu is in his second term, having won a four-way primary in 2012 to succeed the retiring Rep. Scott Hochberg; here’s the interview I did with him at that time. A former prosecutor with the Harris County District Attorney’s office who is now in private practice, Rep. Wu has served twice on the Energy Resources Committees and once each on the Elections and County Affairs committees. Wu has also worked on criminal justice issues, authoring a bill to reduce penalties for marijuana possession in the 2015 session, and recently formally requested a Justice Department investigation into state directives concerning Syrian refugees, for which he was lauded by the Chronicle. He was also an active supporter of HERO in the 2015 election.
I do all my interviews in advance, sometimes well in advance. This is partly about my availability and partly about how quickly an interview subject gets back to me, but mostly about the reality that this process takes time, and I need to ensure I have enough of it. In this case, I interviewed Rep. Wu and his opponent, Edward Pollard, during the Christmas break. I interviewed a lot of candidates at that time, because it worked well with my schedule. As I said, this helps me ensure that I can get the job done in a timely fashion, which is a big consideration for a short campaign season like this primary.
The down side to this is that sometimes things happen after the interviews are done that change how I would have done them in the first place. The out-of-the-blue ruling on HERO, which occurred after I had spoken to multiple candidates last year, is a prime example of this. Sometimes the thing that happens directly involves one or more of the people in a given race. I can’t go back and change the interviews I’ve done, but I can edit the post I write about it. With that in mind, let me direct you to this Facebook post by Beth Martin, who is the District Director for Rep. Wu, who had a very unpleasant encounter with Mr. Pollard at Rep. Wu’s district office. What she experienced is clearly unacceptable, especially for a candidate. I try to give everyone a fair shake in these interviews and stay away from the political aspect, but I would be negligent the extreme if I did not mention this.
With all that said, here’s what Rep. Wu and I talked about:
You can see all of my interviews as well as finance reports and other information on candidates on my 2016 Election page.