Four Democratic legislators in Harris County have drawn primary challengers this year. Three of them – Reps. Alma Allen, Jessica Farrar, and Hubert Vo – drew opponents who filed at the last minute. None of their challengers can be described as serious. The fourth incumbent Democratic State Rep to have a contested primary is Rep. Gene Wu in HD137, and his opponent announced his intentions early while having a resume that is in line with expectations for this office. Edward Pollard, who characterizes himself as a “conservative Democrat”, is an attorney and former professional basketball player. He has served as legal clerk to Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan, legislative aid for State Representative Dawnna Dukes through Sen. Rodney Ellis’ legislative internship program, and as President of the Houston Black American Democrats. He is now in private practice at a small law firm that focuses on civil litigation and governmental affairs.
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 both Rep. Wu and 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.
Having said that, here’s the interview I did with Mr. Pollard:
You can see all of my interviews as well as finance reports and other information on candidates on my 2016 Election page.