Constable Abercia to step down

I wish him well.

Longtime Harris County Constable Jack Abercia, citing health concerns, said Wednesday he will not seek re-election next year.

Abercia, 78, has served as Precinct 1 Constable since 1991, when he was appointed to fill the unexpired term of predecessor Walter Rankin.

“I’ve got cancer,” Abercia said. “I’m in treatment now, and I can’t go through a campaign. I’m just running out of steam.”

Abercia submitted a notarized letter to the county Democratic Party headquarters announcing his withdrawal on Tuesday, said the party’s primary director, Demetria Nelson-McNulty.

Credit where it’s due to Campos for catching this before it hit the papers. Abercia’s office has been the subject of scrutiny from the FBI lately, though we don’t know what for. I’m inclined to take him at his word that that was not a driver of his decision to retire – he’s 78 and he has cancer, after all – but we’ll see what happens there.

Greg points out an interesting fact about Constables that I’ll bet most of us didn’t know:

But one tidbit about Constable & JP districts is that they apparently aren’t required to undergo redistricting. Something to do with them being more administrative in function and outside the scope of one-man/one-vote requirements and all that. The result is that Pct 1 has 696,436 people in it while Phil Camus’ Precinct 5 has 1,100,496. The smallest jurisdiction, however, belongs to Victor Trevino’s Precinct 6 with 148,395. Wacky. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see Commissioners Court take up the “emergency” in this discrepancy sometime soon.

Now that he mentions it, I do recall hearing some grumbles about the vastly different workloads at different JP courts. I suppose something ought to be done about that, but you’d think the time to tackle it would have been when redoing the County Commissioner precincts. Given everything else going on this year, I don’t know about adding this on to the to do list. I will also confidently predict that if it does find its way onto the Court’s agenda, litigation will follow. Anyone know if this would be subject to preclearance? You’d think it would be, given that the Commissioner precincts were as well, but who knows?

Four Democrats have filed to contest the primary in Abercia’s absence: Grady Castleberry, Alan Rosen, Cindy Vara-Leija and Quincy Whitaker. No Republican has filed.

I’m not terribly familiar with these folks. I suppose since I’m in Constable Precinct 1, I’ll need to figure it out. One more race to add to my list for interviews. This list may yet be incomplete, given the second filing period to come at the end of January. I won’t be surprised to see more names added to it, given Abercia’s announcement.

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6 Responses to Constable Abercia to step down

  1. joshua bullard says:

    UPDATE-Quincy Whitaker-candidate for constable precint 1,hit the ground running early and hired on burt levine consulting services,his block walking and mail have been super strong,if i was a betting man,i would say Quincy Whitaker is in the run off-bank on it.

    foot note for charles kuffner-There will not be any movement on issues with commisioners court in any major ways untill the completion of the primary’s both left and right.

    Lastly-china star buffett on woodridge and 45 south is the best damn buffett i have had since the 1980’s.go for it noel freeman…………………..

    joshua “ben” bullard

  2. Eric Weinmann says:

    Joshua, are you a Democrat or Republican?

  3. joshua bullard says:

    Eric weinmann-this a fabulous question that deserves a multi facited answer-on some issues i am a constitutionalist,on others, i lean conservative republican and there are some democrat issues i tend to joinder answer your question in full as of today-right now,although i have voted in the democrat and gop primary races in the past-I am an independent as of right now.

    respectfully submitted
    joshua ben bullard

  4. Eric Weinmann says:

    Oh – I couldn’t tell if that was a pro or anti Whitaker comment.

  5. Gemoreno says:

    Kuff this is a no brainer…there is only one qualified candidate with approximately 30years experience…..cindy vara-Leija

  6. Pingback: Abercia resigns, replacement named – Off the Kuff

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