Among the many City Council races that have descended into runoff elections, District I has arguably received the least press of any contest, certainly the least of the open races. The Houston Chronicle recently ran two pieces, one on who former candidates in District D were endorsing in the runoff, and the other on ongoing legal dispute in At-large 3. Coverage of District I seems few and far between.
That is not to say nothing has been happening in this race; in fact, far from it. Recently, former candidate Ben Mendez endorsed Robert Gallegos in the runoff. Additionally, the Harris County Young Democrats, originally Mendez supporters, endorsed Gallegos. While it is certainly helpful to have the assistance of any former candidates, Mendez has a long history of doing especially strange things, including allegedly making low personal attacks against another candidate and defending child-rapists. Gallegos should tread lightly in receiving his support.
Additionally, the remaining candidate in the runoff election, Graciana Garces, has
penned published a confrontational letter against Gallegos. In [T]he letter (which is reprinted in its entirety at the link), she accuses Gallegos of intentionally misrepresenting himself as a family member and favorite son of Mario Gallegos, the former State Senator for the region.
Mario Gallegos passed away a little over a year ago, and his widow and other family have remained somewhat active in local politics since that time. They endorsed State Representative Carol Alvarado earlier this year when she ran to succeed Mario Gallegos. Alvarado, however, was defeated by former County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia.
As an interesting parallel, Garces is supported by the incumbent City Councilmember James Rodriguez, who was both Alvarado’s successor on the Council and her former Chief of Staff. Both Alvarado and Mario Gallegos’ family also supported Garces. Meanwhile, Sylvia Garcia has actively been supporting Robert Gallegos.
Garcia won that election, which means if the community comes to similar conclusions this time around, Robert Gallegos will be the one in City Hall next year.
UPDATE: Garces’ letter was not written by her, it was written by Mario Gallegos’ family members themselves.