Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman to resign

This was unexpected, to say the least.

Diane Trautman

Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman will resign May 31 due to health concerns, she said Saturday afternoon.

Trautman, 70, steps down just 16 months into her first term. She defeated incumbent clerk Stan Stanart in 2018.

“Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, my age, and underlying health issues, I do not feel I can safely continue to carry out my duties,” Trautman said in a statement. She declined to answer questions.

Commissioners Court will appoint an interim clerk to serve until November, when a new clerk is elected. The Democratic and Republican parties will each put forth a nominee.

During her brief tenure, Trautman’s signature success was the implementation of county voting centers, which for the first time allowed residents to visit any polling place on Election Day. County Judge Lina Hidalgo praised that effort and Trautman’s dedication to the job.

“Dr. Trautman embodies the spirit of the community she has served,” Hidalgo said in a statement. “In her brief time as County Clerk, Dr. Trautman has fought to make it easier for citizens to participate in elections and make their voices heard.”

You can see a copy of her press release, which hit my mailbox at 6 PM last night, here. I’m still a little stunned, but the more I think about it the more I wonder if she will be just the first in line to step down over health and safety concerns. Elected officials tend to be older, and we have seen multiple stories of them having come down with COVID-19. A quick google search turned up three examples of state representatives who have died as a result of the disease. In that regard, it’s honestly a little surprising we haven’t seen more elected officials do the same.

As her resignation is official on May 31, I assume there will be some kind of application process for the interim Clerk. Whoever that is will have to continue the preparations for more mail ballots as well as making in-person voting as safe as possible, both for the voters and the poll workers. No pressure, right? I presume the nominee to replace her on the November ballot will be picked by the precinct chairs, as we did with Commissioner Ellis and the three judges in 2016. That will add a level of excitement to the next CEC meeting, which is already going to be a big deal since the March one was postponed. I’m sure I’ll begin hearing from hopefuls in short order. I do not envy whoever it is at the HCDP who will be tasked with organizing this meeting, which I’m going to guess will have to be done remotely, unless we all somehow feel confident about packing several hundred mostly older folks into the IBEW hall one day next month. This is going to be all kinds of fun. We’ll get it done one way or another. In the meantime, my thanks to Diane Trautman for her service, and my best wishes for a healthy post-County Clerk life.

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15 Responses to Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman to resign

  1. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    First, I wish Diane the best.

    There is zero place for political games with this interim appointment. It is vital we get the most competent Democrat election administrator available.

    3 Congressional Seats and control of the Texas House is directly tied to ensuring this handoff goes off without a hitch.

  2. Hope she is O.K. I assume it is more about personal reasons then anything else. Whatever the personal reasons are one they are none of my business. Best of luck to her and I am thankful for her service.

  3. Jules says:

    I met her once and she told me she was going to do something that I loved and thought was possible-voting centers on election day. And she did it! I wish her the best.

  4. Paul Kubosh says:

    Oh yeah, forgot about that. I enjoy voting anywhere on election day.

  5. voter_worker says:

    From the more politically tuned-in here I’d be interested in knowing if the local political community has any interest in looking at the merits of going the Elections Administrator route. It’s an alternative that seems out of the picture in Harris County even though it’s been successfully adopted by many Texas counties large and small. Thank you Dr. Trautman for your service and successfully implementing voting centers in Harris County. Job well done!

  6. Bill Daniels says:

    After the monumental failure of the last election, (remember the last guy who waited for hours and hours at TSU to illegally vote as a felon), maybe she’s using the virus crisis to exit stage left gracefully?


    To her credit, voting at any polling place was a good idea, even if she wasn’t able to implement it properly. I also credit her with accepting and owning there were problems. On those factors alone, I might have been willing to give her another shot.

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  8. Manny says:

    One incident according to the Republican paid troll, is a monumental failure.

    Wonder what Bill Daniels call the death of all those mothers and grandmothers that died because the person that he kneels down to (Trump), failed to do his job, to protect Americans.

    Bill it is “Mourning in America” because you and the fellow idiots voted for the worst person that has ever occupied the White House.

    0ver 80,000 dead and even according to the White House about 25% unemployment. This the fault of idiots like Bill and his kind that voted for support the Russian Cheeto.

  9. Bill Daniels says:


    Where are most of the deaths occurring? NY. And where, particularly in NY are they happening? Nursing homes. And what edict did Cuomo make regarding NY nursing homes? Yes, that’s right. Cuomo’s diktat forced nursing homes to take in patients sickened with the Wuhan virus!

    Here’s the actual order:


    It’s Cuomo who has killed people’s grandparents, Manny. Forcing the most vulnerable population we have to accept people sick with a contagious virus? There’s blood on Cuomo’s hands, Manny.

    Beyond that, why are you so disinterested in the actual proof that you have been lied to, that the Trump Russia collusion hoax was crafted out of nothing, and the players in the coup admit it under oath. I posted the link to their actual basement bunker testimonies, Manny. You’re the horse I am leading to water. Read the under oath testimony, Manny! Drink in the awful truth!

    If I’m a paid Russian agent, then based on the admissions, especially the admission FROM Podesta himself that the DNC and Hillary each shared the cost of the debunked Piss Dossier, then it’s likely that I am a DNC operative, not a Trump supporter. It also must mean Podesta is a Russian agent to admit that, right? Do you still feel I am a Russian agent? Do you still feel that Trump colluded with Russia? Read the transcripts, Manny, and be amazed.

  10. Manny says:

    Bill you are full of it, you and all the other idiots that voted for Trump are responsible for most of the deaths that have occurred in America.

    Do you really think that everyone is as stupid as Republicans who believe all the bull that you, Trump, Fox and other crazy people come up with. All of you have blood on your hands.

    Why are you bringing up the fact that Trump asked the Russians for help?


    Paid trolls don’t all come from Russia.

    Since 2 links can delay posting, 2 posts.

  11. Manny says:

    Bill you and all Trump lovers have blood on your hands, there is “Mourning in America” because of people like you, like the Republicans, and because of Trump.


  12. Mary Ross Taylor says:

    Totally agree with you, she botched it so badly despite experienced bipartisan advice to do things differently. I think the job is harder than she thought and no fun so bye bye.

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