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Orlandomania!

With the untimely passing of Harris County Treasurer Jack Cato on Monday, the local Republicans now need to field a replacement candidate. Lucky for them, they’ve got someone who is uniquely qualified to hold this position.

Two-time mayoral candidate Orlando Sanchez, who unsuccessfully challenged County Treasurer Jack Cato in this year’s Republican primary, is a leading candidate to replace him on the fall ballot, party leaders say.

[…]

Republican County Chairman Jared Woodfill and other party leaders said Sanchez will be a formidable candidate because he was endorsed by 256 of 454 precinct chairmen in the primary election against Cato.

“Orlando will be very strong. He has worked with precinct chairs for years,” Woodfill said.

The GOP nominee will be opposed in November by Democrat Richard Garcia, who advocates abolishing the treasurer’s office.

At least two county commissioners also believe it may be time to abolish the obscure office, which has no real power. That would require statewide voter approval of a constitutional amendment. Several other counties, and the state of Texas, have abolished the treasurer’s post.

Yes, who better to run for the most meaningless countywide office than Orlando Sanchez? When the show fits, you’ve gotta wear it.

The treasurer’s post pays $96,000 a year, and its main function is to disburse payments authorized by Commissioners Court.

[…]

Commissioners El Franco Lee and Garcia said that with Cato’s death, the county should consider abolishing the treasurer’s post. “This may be the right time,” Garcia said.

To abolish the post, the Legislature would have to put the issue before the statewide electorate, and voters would have to pass a constitutional amendment. The Legislature almost never puts such an issue before voters if a commissioners court and the county treasurer do not request it, Eckels said.

Sanchez opposes abolishing the post.

Of course he opposes it. Who wouldn’t want a job that pays $96K a year to distribute checks? Fiscal conservativism is so 1994.

The state of Texas abolished its office of Treasurer in 1995. What is Harris County waiting for?

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5 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Dammit, will the man force me to write the ABBA pastiche of his name?

  2. Tim says:

    >> Dammit, will the man force me to write the ABBA pastiche of his name?

  3. Dennis says:

    “Republican County Chairman Jared Woodfill and other party leaders said Sanchez will be a formidable candidate because he was endorsed by 256 of 454 precinct chairmen in the primary election against Cato.”

    Won’t Sanchez first have to fill out a questionnaire asking if he favors abolishing the income tax and returning to the gold standard?

  4. Switchback says:

    Historical Note: in most other counties, the treasurer performs the important function of investing county funds for the maximum return on taxpayer dollars. This job was stripped out of the Harris County Treasurer’s office back in the late ’80s when feminist activist Nikki Van Hightower won the post — and two months later it was IRS slapped a $600,000 lien (for non-payment of payroll taxes) on the non-profit Houston Area Women’s Center that she had been running. Commissioners Court was leary of placing that much money in the hands of someone who couldn’t get the payroll taxes paid. As is often the case when Harris County Commissioners are unsure what to do, they punted the primary responsibility to budget guru Dick Raycraft.

  5. kevin whited says:

    Fiscal conservativism is so 1994.

    I think you mean conservatism.

    It would be nice to see Orlando go get a real job, but I suppose the allure of a largely meaningless job that pays roughly $100k is probably too hard for him to pass up. Has he ever even earned half that in the private sector?

    *shrug*

    I’ll be voting for the candidate who wants to abolish the office.