Lower profile, and less competitive, but still worth paying attention to.
Steve Radack has built close to five dozen parks and spent millions of dollars expanding road and trail networks in 28 years as Harris County commissioner for Precinct 3.
It is a prolific body of work for the longest-serving, and most outspoken, member of commissioners court, who is asking voters this fall to vote him into his eighth term.
That longevity also is what his November challenger, Democrat Jenifer Rene Pool, is keying on in her bid to unseat the veteran Republican.
“If we want a different outcome, we have to do things differently,” Pool said.
Precinct 3 encompasses more than 450 miles of the county’s west side, stretching from just outside Prairie View and Waller County in the north, through parts of the Katy area, to near Alief in the south. Almost 1.2 million people live in the precinct.
That is up from roughly 850,000 when Radack first took office, and the number is expected to grow, especially in the unincorporated areas of the county.
“We’ve been able to adjust,” Radack said, adding “We’ve got plenty of challenges ahead.”
Texas Southern University political scientist Michael Adams said Radack is regarded as an “effective commissioner” whose political persona plays to his constituency. Radack has handily won re-election to each of his terms.
“This is an easy win for Radack, in large part because the district is heavily partisan and in favor of the GOP,” Adams said. “It would be a massive upset for Radack to lose.”
I agree with Prof. Adams that Commissioner Radack is a heavy favorite to win, though I’d attribute that first and foremost to the precinct’s Republican lean. Radack won 60-40 in 2008 and 62-38 in 2012, running a few points ahead of the rest of the ticket in each case. I think he’ll be hard pressed to get to 60 this year, but if he falls below 55 I’d say it’s a very good day for Dems not just in Harris County but probably statewide as well. I’m a fan of Jenifer Pool’s and I think she’d do a fine job as Commissioner, but this is a tough nut to crack.