About those Council runoffs

All of a sudden there’s many fewer candidates to keep track of.

Tiffany Thomas

Some candidates said they were happy simply to have made it to a runoff. Several races had more than a dozen people vying for the top two vote counts, resulting in razor-thin margins that decided who moved forward.

Brad “Scarface” Jordan said he was still in shock Wednesday. The former member of the Geto Boys hip hop group hadn’t expected to advance, but ultimately took second in a 16-candidate field for District D.

“This is unbelievable bro,” he said. “I’m just as shocked as you are.”

Others, like incumbent Michael Kubosh in At-Large 3 (47.8 percent), Amy Peck in District A (45.4 percent) and Tiffany Thomas in District F (38.9 percent), enter their runoffs with commanding leads.

“We could have won outright last night if those clowns weren’t on the ballot,” Thomas said of the candidates eliminated Tuesday, most of whom polled in the single digits. “They didn’t work at the polls, they weren’t at early voting.”

Peck said her level of support indicated that voters want a continuation of the service they have seen under incumbent Brenda Stardig. Peck is Stardig’s chief of staff, and she has pledged to work towards finishing drainage and infrastructure projects already underway.

“Being that far ahead, it’s a clear message of what the voters want,” Peck said.


Thomas, the top vote-getter in District F, raised questions that her opponent, Van Huynh, has faced about his residency. He is incumbent Steve Le’s chief of staff.

Three of the last four District F council members, including Le, have faced questions about whether they live in the southwestern district, as required by city charter and state law.

“I don’t run nasty races, but I do think it’s a valid point that I’m in a runoff with someone who doesn’t live here,” Thomas said.

Huynh, who did not return calls for comment Wednesday, listed his address in campaign filings as a house he rents just off Brays Bayou, but he and his wife claim a homestead exemption on a home they have owned for two decades that sits outside District F.

The council aide has said he stays in the rental he listed on his filing form two to three nights a week, and last month provided a copy of his lease that lists his “main address” at his home outside the district.

Huynh said he and his family are in the process of moving to a new home in the district, but they did not purchase that home until July of this year. City rules require candidates to live in the district they hope to represent for 12 months before election day, but experts say the dictate is hard to enforce.

I must say, I appreciate Tiffany Thomas bringing a little spice to the conversation. She’s also right – an awful lot of those 124 candidates never bothered filing a campaign finance report, which is a pretty minimal Serious Candidate Thing to do. Now that we’re down to two candidates per race, we can get some focus. As I said before, all of the At Large races involve one Democrat and one Republican, which allows for some clarity of choice. Some of the candidates still on the ballot have done interviews with me, either this cycle or a previous one, and others I will try to get to between now and the start of December. Everyone will have either six or seven city candidates on their runoff ballot, depending on what happened in their district, so everyone has plenty of reason to vote again. Figure out who you want to support and make sure you show up.

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9 Responses to About those Council runoffs

  1. Manny says:

    W R Morris once failed to file timely, he was charged by the DA, but then again WR was/is an advocate for the Mestizo community.

  2. Flypusher says:

    What would it take for Houston to adopt ranked choice voting?

  3. Mainstream says:

    Flypusher, as appealing as ranked voting is for a 3 way contest, I cannot imagine voters using it intelligently in some of these 15 candidate free-for-alls.

  4. Notsuoh says:

    Am I the only one that read that statement from Eric Dick? Wow, he really has matured as a candidate.

  5. Christopher Busby says:

    Kubosh might be going into the runoff with a commanding lead but 4 years ago he pulled off 60% against 3 opponents with similar levels of funding. If Janaeya Carmouche improves her fundraising she could manage to pull of an upset. Quite frankly most people I talk to are surprised a runoff occurred.

  6. Mainstream says:

    There are still way too many voters whose vote is influenced by whether the candidate has a familiar name (like Adrian Garcia or Dolcefino) or a less familiar one (Tiko, Janaeya). Based on names alone, I would expect incumbents Mike Knox and Michael Kubosh to prevail. Some years ago in the 2008 sweep, the only Democrat judicial candidates who failed were those with less familiar names: Goodwille Pierre, Mekisha Murray, Ashish Mahendru, and Andres Pereira, as examples.

  7. blank says:

    Flypusher, as appealing as ranked voting is for a 3 way contest, I cannot imagine voters using it intelligently in some of these 15 candidate free-for-alls.

    From https://www.fairvote.org/election_day_2019_a_record_11_cities_to_use_ranked_choice_voting

    @Mainstream: 11 municipalities have already implemented RCV and none to my knowledge have reported problems. 6, with the largest being San Francisco, have been doing it for awhile.

  8. Flypusher says:

    Having done online surveys where you are asked to rank things, the setup wouldn’t be all that hard. You can also give people the option not to fill in all the ranking spaces- if you just want to vote your favorite, you fill in/ click the 1st place space next to their name, then move on to the next contest. If I were looking at a slate of 12, I’d probably vote for 2-4, especially if I knew a number of them weren’t all that serious.

  9. Joshua bullard says:

    Whats changed with Eric dick from 10 years ago is-hes been an elected official for years now on the HCDE and it turns out he has alot of people on both sides of the parties pushing for him ,ive searched my soul after the chips fell on election night and i know for certain im voting ,My family is voting, eric dick in the run off . Its his time . Joshua

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