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New Precinct 4 Constable chosen

Now that Ron Hickman is Sheriff, that left a vacancy in his old job as Precinct 4 Constable. Commissioners Court has now filled that vacancy.

At a special meeting Tuesday morning Harris County Commissioners Court selected Mark Herman, assistant chief deputy in Precinct 4, to fill the spot vacated when Constable Ron Hickman was tapped last week as Harris County’s fill-in sheriff. Herman, who has worked at Precinct 4 for three decades, will serve the remainder of Hickman’s term, through 2016.

County Judge Ed Emmett administered the oath of office, as Herman’s wife held a family bible for him.

Herman thanked his family, God and the entire staff of Precinct 4, telling the court members he looked forward to working with them. He took the opportunity during his acceptance speech to introduce Captain Donald Steward who works in patrol for the precinct and whom Herman announced would serve as his chief deputy.

Hickman’s term as Constable would have been up at the end of 2016, so Herman will (presumably) be running for a full term next year. Hickman was unopposed in 2012, but Herman will not be, at least in the primary.

In an abrupt change of heart, state Rep. Allen Fletcher said Tuesday he no longer intends to run for Harris County sheriff in 2016.

Instead, he will seek the Precinct 4 constable’s job vacated by the county’s new sheriff, Ron Hickman.


“I want to run out in my home district and I want to represent the people out in northwest Harris County,” he said, explaining that he does not want to run against Hickman after commissioners selected him for the job.

Fletcher, a former Houston police officer, cited support from local lawmakers for his constable’s bid. He also voiced concerns about running as a Republican in a county-wide race in 2016.

“I don’t want to depend on Hillary Clinton being on the top of the ticket for the Democrats and trying to run county-wide when I don’t know how it’s going to play out,” he said.

A wise choice, I’d say. I went back and looked at 2012 election data, and Constable Precinct 4 was carried by Mitt Romney by a 64-36 margin. I’d take my chances in a primary for those odds in November if I were a Republican. I’m guessing Fletcher came under some pressure to leave Sheriff Hickman alone as well, though I’ll be surprised if no one else jumps into that primary. I’ve not heard any word on potential Democratic candidates for Sheriff yet. Anyone out there hearing anything? Leave a comment and let us know.

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  1. Burt Levine says:

    Carl Pittman has been announced for a very long time he is running in the March 1, 2016 Republican Primary for Harris County Sheriff.

  2. Steven Houston says:

    If Garcia doesn’t win the mayoral spot, he is likely to run again. On the flip side, a few insiders have suggested that one of the other mayoral candidates is trying to broker a deal with Garcia along the lines of: if Garcia doesn’t make the runoff, is willing to throw his support a certain way, he will be offered the top spot for HPD (which, last I heard, pays far more than the county and would establish Garcia for a future run even better).

  3. Paul Kubosh says:

    Garcia as HPD chief?

  4. Steven Houston says:

    PK, the irony of it on several levels is striking; according to my sources, he never once promoted while employed with the city as an officer, his record of reform is better than any of the recent police chief’s, his budget would be much bigger and he would get paid much more. Granted, being mayor is better, but as far as a contingency plan is concerned in case he fails to make the run off, there are worse things that could happen while he contemplates another run as Sheriff (2016 is being predicted as another year in which his party is likely to sweep in large urban areas, like the year he rode into office).

  5. Paul Kubosh says:

    I can see them making that offer politically but I hope it doesn’t happen. I fear his appointment would not help the moral of the troops. I would hate to see more of the same crap we have now. We need to clean house with all the command staff.

  6. Steven Houston says:

    PK, I think he’s a decent person, far more so than his successor who treats transparency like a one way mirror, but I share your concerns about his qualifications for any of the three positions discussed (city chief, mayor or sheriff). My personal belief is that the reason he had to hire that hugely expensive consultant was his lack of education and expertise in the field of policing (and jailing if you come down to it). When asked what decisions he made as the city’s appointed gang task force leader or even during the entirety of his career, no one at any rank level had anything to offer other than something along the lines of “He’s not as tainted as the other guy”, to a one each unable to come up with anything he had done worth mentioning as a credential.

    As an elected official, front line knowledge is less important since you are supposed to be selected based on making sweeping policies rather than run the day to day operations which are delegated. Given that policing as a whole seems to have one setting of expertise, “Give us more resources and we will do a better job”, it’s tougher to argue against such appointees in positions of power. Given Hickman’s track record to date, I truly hope a QUALIFIED opponent from either party runs against him too; the person could be dumb as a rock but honest and I’d pick him over Hickman.

    As far as the city command staff, if there are one or two worth saving, they have yet to present themselves as such to the general public. Some are power mad little dictators and others are fine examples of the Peter Principle in play, most of them at least substantially selected for their race, gender, and other factor of inconsequence which allows failed policies to continue. Wipe the slate and randomly select a better lineup if need be but do something…