On picking a new County Clerk

Stace has some thoughts.

Diane Trautman

I’m of the opinion that the Democratic majority on the Commissioner’s Court should make a strong appointment of someone who will be the incumbent, making it clear that there is no need for a possible free-for-all at the precinct chair level.

We elected our County Judge and our Commissioners, while most of us cannot even find a link on the Party website to find our own precinct chair so that we can lobby for whom we want them to vote. Either process is hardly democratic as the voters are left out of the process. I’d rather go with whom our top leaders choose and have the precinct chairs basically ratify it so we can move forward. Wishful thinking? Maybe.

Some may opine that appointing as interim one of the professionals already in the County Clerk’s office to run the 2020 election and be a placeholder while allowing a candidate chosen by the precinct chairs to run full-time is the solution. And that’s a good argument. But I think we should have a candidate who can show that they can do the professional and the political work, simultaneously. I think it’s more of a confidence builder for us voters when we see that our candidates can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Either way, we’ll see what happens. I already see suggestions on my Facebook feeds about who should run and about diversity on the ballot. There’s nothing wrong with healthy debate, but these things can take a turn for the ugly real quick. And that’s another reason why I’d like to see the Judge and Commissioners lead on this one.

See here for the background. As a precinct chair who will be among those lucky duckies that gets to put a nominee on the ballot for 2020, let me say that I agree with Stace’s position that we should want a candidate who “can do the professional and the political work, simultaneously”. I hope to have a better feel for this once people start throwing their hats into the ring, but I agree that a Clerk who can plan for and run an election well and who is also able to tell Ken Paxton to get stuffed while giving clear direction on these matters to the Court, the County Attorney, and the government relations crew at the county, is someone I want to see in that job.

How we get there is of less importance. If Commissioners Court – specifically, Judge Hidalgo, Commissioner Ellis, and Commissioner Garcia; I don’t expect either of the other two to provide any productive input but will hear it out if they do – says that they just want someone who can carry out the necessary electoral duties for 2020 and leave the politics up to the political people, that’s fine by me. If instead they make a strong statement about wanting the same kind of qualities as discussed here in the next Clerk and appoint someone they believe embodies those qualities, I will be more than happy to endorse that selection for the November ballot, if I agree that they got it right. I’m happy to be led by them on this matter, as long as they do lead us in the right direction. I reserve the right as part of the body that makes this selection to maintain my own counsel.

To be sure, this kind of process can get ugly in a hurry. This may be the best chance any Democrat has to win one of these offices now that there are no more Republicans to oust and we have to fight among ourselves to win. Having the Democratic members of Commissioners Court come out in unison behind a well-qualified candidate that they would like to continue working with after this November would make this a lot easier. We’ll see what they decide to do.

Meanwhile, Campos has one piece of advice:

The Commissioners Court will pick an interim County Clerk and sometime this summer the Harris County Democratic Party Executive Committee will select a nominee to place on the November ballot. The Commissioners aren’t going to listen to Commentary, but I hope they pick a female. If they pick a male and the male ends up getting the Executive Committee’s nod, he will win this November but get knocked off in the 2022 Democratic Party Primary by a female sure enough. Dudes need not apply.

For sure, that can happen. I will just say, 2022 will be its own election, with a different context and likely smaller turnout due to the lack of a Presidential race. It’s certainly possible that the robust candidate we hope to pick this year will get knocked off in 2022 by someone no one has heard of today. I will just say that we are not completely powerless to prevent such an outcome – I’ve been talking about the need to do a better job of promoting quality candidates at the statewide level for a couple of cycles now, following recent debacles in various downballot low-profile primaries. The same prescription holds true here, with a combination of financial support to allow a visible campaign and visible support from the elected leaders who have as much of a vested interest in having the best person possible to run elections as the rest of us do. Pick the best possible person, then support that person going forward. It’s not that complicated.

Those are my thoughts at this time. Feel free to tell me whose name you are hearing for the job and how you think I should approach this when the precinct chairs get together (virtually, I assume) to formalize it.

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23 Responses to On picking a new County Clerk

  1. Pingback: County Clerk and #MaskItOrCasket | Camposcommunications' Blog

  2. voter_worker says:

    This discussion concisely illustrates why Harris County will decline to even look at the appointed Election Administrator option. Political partisans just don’t want to loosen their iron grip on this position. I’m dismayed that Judge Hidalgo seems oblivious to the opportunity here.

  3. brad says:


    Won’t any appointed Election Administrator always be a political process?

    I hope the new County Clerk is a young, smart, talented, pragmatic, professional Latina.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    “I hope the new County Clerk is a young, smart, talented, pragmatic, professional Latina.”

    The level of virtue signalling, combined with self loathing hatred of men, is….staggering. For example, based on the amount of research, the timeliness of it, and the reasoned commentary (even if I disagree a lot) he does, Kuff himself would be pretty decent for the job, but he’s a white male, so you hate him for some reason and wouldn’t even CONSIDER him for the job. Wow.

    Also noteworthy is that you’ve disqualified middle aged black guys, older black women, Asian guys, older Hispanic men like Manny, etc. You don’t care about “best person for the job,” experience, or anything else. The successful candidate has to be brown, have a vagina, or wish he had one, and be young.

    What the Hell is wrong with you Brad?

  5. voter_worker says:

    Brad, any process in government is fundamentally political. In my opinion the County has an opportunity to take another look at the option to see if it might better serve the voters of Harris County than the current method. They have before, and rejected it. Times have changed and this is a window for a second look if the County so chooses. At the level of efficiency and coordination of efforts, having a bifurcated setup as we now do results in certain inefficiencies. There are arguments to be made for having a single administrator chosen and overseen by a process that involves both parties. I’m not advocating switching, but examining it at this juncture where a change could be more easily made if it makes sense to do so.

  6. brad says:

    I knew if I kicked over that ant pile with the Latina comment the crazy ants would arrive.

    I was not disappointed.

  7. brad says:


    I would be happy with an Elections Administrator appointed by an independent/bi-partisan committee. Think of the State of Arizona’s Independent Redistricting Commission for congressional districts.

  8. Bill Daniels says:

    LOL, Brad, my congratulations, I freely admit I got trolled. Nice, and credit where credit is due.

  9. brad says:

    I hope the new County Clerk is an old, uneducated, ill-prepared, political operative with connections Anglo.

    Just throwing in a line to see what I catch.

  10. Bill Daniels says:

    Off Topic, but for those who might be interested, Joe Biden’s having another ‘virtual town hall,’ I guess because the last one went so swimmingly.


  11. brad says:


    I missed Biden’s last town hall.

    Was this the one where he showed bottomless ignorance and put American’s in harms way by suggesting injecting disinfectant into the human body and/or inserting a UV light into the human body as a way to battle COVID-19?

    And this, of course, was after a few months of almost daily briefings from the nations’ premier epidemiologists and virologists.

    What a minute…scratch that…it was Trump. I get my septuagenarians mixed up.

    Biden’s town hall had technical difficulties. BFD.

    Such snarky artificial immaterial issues raised by Republicans. What next…bringing up the time that Obama tossed a football to someone inside the Oval Office? Egads….and without a business jacket on!!!

  12. Wolfgang says:

    Re: Biden’s town hall had technical difficulties.

    Nothing compared to the vast Texas appellate website architecture going down in a ransom attack including all the docket management, casemail, and TAMES data base. Tomorrow will be day 7 of the outage.


    How is it possible that all the appellate docket data and the PDF docs are not backed up off-line, ready to be relaunched onto a new server and new domain (assuming the old one was commandeered)?

    Where are the ideologically compatible tech-savvy Abbott-Paxton-Hecht-vetted virologists when you need them? Hawthorne and Slayton are consummate professionals, but they are apparently at the end of their wits.

    Appeals courts now communicate via twitter, including SCOTX.

    See here:
    https://twitter.com/SupremeCourt_TX (announcing resumption of evictions with some qualifications and with some dissent, stimulus-money confiscation via garnishment also addressed)

    Bill, I appreciate your humorous exertion. I wish I could hold a candle. Not so.

  13. Bill Daniels says:

    Hey Brad,

    Nut cutting time…..do you believe Tara Reade? If so, Biden himself says you should not vote for him. Tara has outcry witnesses AT THE TIME of the alleged rape, including her now ex husband, mother, who called into the Larry King show to talk about the rape, and several friends.


    So, Brad, do you believe all womyn? Here’s your chance to prove it. Reade proved that she actually knew Biden, and has multiple outcry witnesses, including the ex husband. Compare and contrast to the Ford woman, who no one could even corroborate that she had ever even met Kavanaugh. We believe Ford, because we believe all women, so……if you believe Reade, Joe himself says do not vote for him.

  14. Wolfgang says:


    I meant to compliment lower-case brad on his colorful diction, not upper-case Bill. That said, Bill for once made me laugh too, with his ready-set-go for nut-cutting. Is Sarah Palin going to preside over the event as moderator?

    Let’s face it. After decades of gender-sensitivity instruction we are still seggizt pigz: swift-blade removal of male go-nuts is fun, FGM not so much. — We laugh at the former, even though our own reproductive capabilities hang in the balance.

    Will the double standard ever change?

    As for Biden and other would-be nominees for the Hall of Fame for Gropers and Geezers, shouldn’t they have the benefit of and elder-statesman statute of limitations, if not the benefit of the doubt? Maybe 20 years, which would be 10x the SOL for your garden-variety PI claim in Texas. Or perhaps we should just have a truth commission with accompanying immunity grant, so the media can take a break from the corona thing and focus on something novel.

  15. Ryan says:

    Amanda Edwards needs a job. She probably has ambitions above county clerk but she is young and smart and competent. Would win easily in a 2022 dem primary for obvious reasons.

  16. Bill Daniels says:


    That’s an interesting suggestion; leave ancient claims in the past. Where were you when Judge Roy Moore and Judge Kavanaugh were having their characters assassinated by the outrage lynch mob? We were specifically told to believe all womyn, and there was no statute of limitations for specious claims about those folks, but now we want a rule conveniently timed for Biden? Will Trump get the same benefit, or does one have to be old AND a card carrying Democrat?

    Unrelated, and not to make this a metaphorical circle jerk, but I enjoy your writing style as well. It’s nice for us plebes, with our pedestrian, colloquialism laden screeds, to see what refined, erudite writing actually looks like.

  17. Manny says:

    Bill you can sugar coat your self and your writing but you will always be the person that has no problem of shooting women and children, of putting babies in cages. Like Trump and all of his strong supporters, I imagine there may be exceptions, racism and bigotry will always be part of your id.

  18. Manny says:

    Bill there is “Mourning in America” because of Trump’s incompetence and people like you who hate others who are different looking than you, thus support a racist/bigot imbecile.


  19. Bill Daniels says:

    Manny, other than Paul, there isn’t one person here who does not support killing children. Other than Paul, we all support vacuuming kids out of their mommies’ vaginas, and crushing their skulls with forceps.

    Beyond that, I support people’s right to commit suicide. You support creating conditions that make people WANT to commit suicide. There’s a subtle difference there. You’re happy to drive people to the point of suicide by locking them down in their homes, forbidding them from making a living, forbidding them from trying to not become homeless, or to eat. I don’t support that, but I do support people who want to commit suicide having the right to do so. If you want to go play on the freeway, or commit suicide by cop, or overdose on pills, or enter an area you know you will be shot for entering, go for it. If you want to kill your child by having his little body sucked out of your vagina, great! Kill him or her! If you want to kill your child by forcing your child to enter a no go kill zone, great! Kill your child, and yourself! Your problems are now over!

    Just don’t ask me to feel sorry for you. You chose to commit suicide, you chose to have your child killed. That’s on you, not on me.

  20. Jules says:

    Shut the fuck up, Bill. You don’t even know what a vagina is, surprising since you are such a huge twat.

  21. Manny says:

    Bill you are so full of manure, you have no idea what I think. You have a stink, just like Trump that think that you and your kind are the only ones that understand how the world works.

    Were it only true that I drive people to suicide, then maybe I could read about Bill Daniels in the obituaries.

    You and your kind, Trump and your kind of people have brought us “Mourning in America”.


  22. Pingback: Could we get an elections administrator along with a new County Clerk? – Off the Kuff

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