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