State Rep. Borris Miles came prepared with signs Saturday when Rodney Ellis all but secured a seat on Harris County’s Commissioners Court – not in support of Ellis, but to launch his own campaign.
Ellis’ selection as the Democratic Party’s nominee to replace late Precinct 1 Commissioner El Franco Lee has begun to ripple across the November ballot, freeing up the first in what could be a series of openings in Harris County’s legislative delegation.
The 26-year state senator now must withdraw his name from the ballot for Senate District 13, requiring Democratic precinct chairs to meet yet again on July 16 to select a replacement candidate. Their nominee will run unopposed.
Miles, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson and former City Controller Ron Green have thrown their hats in the ring as others mull joining the race.
The three-week campaign sprint is projected to be as contentious as the commissioner’s race was cordial.
“Many of the candidates have complex political histories that could result in a high level of discord,” Texas Southern University political scientist Michael Adams said. “I don’t think these people are going to be playing nice.”
State Rep. Garnet Coleman and former Houston City Councilman C.O. Bradford said they also are considering running for Ellis’ seat. City Councilman Dwight Boykins and state Rep. Harold Dutton said they opted not to.
Rep. Dutton was a supporter of Gene Locke for Commissioner, so he might have encountered some resistance had he chosen to run for SD13. As noted on Sunday, Reps. Miles and Thompson were at the Saturday precinct convention that placed Ellis on the ballot for County Commissioner. Green was not there but announced his candidacy via Instagram. Rep. Coleman had expressed his interest in the seat in May, but hasn’t said anything official as yet. This is the first I’ve seen Bradford’s name – and Green’s, for that matter – in one of these stories. We’ll see if other names come up. There are 94 precinct chairs in SD13, according to this story, with 78 in Harris County and 16 in Fort Bend. None of them are me, and I’m happy to be an observer and not a participant this time. Good luck to those who have the task of selecting Ellis’ successor.