District I troubles

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.

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2013 results and analysis

We’re working on trying to abridge the hours and hours of livestreamed Texpatriate election return coverage into about 20 minutes of the top hits. Yesterday, our all-time view record was demolished as thousands of people appeared to come to our website to read up on candidates before they voted. Additionally, Richard Nguyen, the victor in District F, had little impact on the internet besides his interview with Texpatriate.

First and foremost, Mayor Annise Parker was decisively re-elected to a third and final term as Mayor of Houston. She cruised to over 57% of the vote, far outpacing the amount of the vote she received in 2011. Meanwhile, Controller Ronald Green also was re-elected, albeit by a much smaller margin. The only surprises amongst City Council races were in At-large 3 and District F, respectively. Otherwise, most incumbents cruised to re-election.

All nine Statewide propositions passed, as did Harris County Proposition 1 (the joint processing center/jail). The Astrodome referendum, however, did not pass, as the iconic 8th Wonder of the World now looks condemned to demolition.

Click here to see full results and read more!

Final Chronicle endorsements

The Houston Chronicle has made its picks in the final four City Council races, as well as for the Constitutional Amendments. All the amendments were endorsed, and the Chronicle backed two incumbents (C.O. Bradford & Jack Christie), as well as made two selections in open seats (Graciana Garces & Rogene Calvert).

First, in this editorial, the Chronicle’s board summarizes the nine constitutional amendment, offering up absolutely no commentary on the matter besides “the Chronicle endorses all nine [amendments].” If you want a little more discussion on the matter, though agree with the editorial line of the Chronicle in this specific instance, I recommend consulting Texpatriate’s endorsements on the amendments (1-5;7-9 and 6). Burnt Orange Report also announced its endorsements in Constitutional amendments yesterday, though it is relevant to mention that they disagreed with both Texpatriate and the Chronicle in opposing Proposition 3 and Proposition 7.

First up, the Chronicle endorsed C.O. Bradford for a third and final term at At-large position #4. The editorial board goes out of its way to compliment Bradford’s recent commitment to changing the City Charter on certain items such as giving At-large Councilmember specific portfolios. He was also lauded for drainage issues, as well as providing an acceptable response on the Chronicle’s pathological obsession with pensions (specifically, “meet and confer”).

Click here to read more about the other endorsements!

Texpatriate endorses in District I

This board has long been impressed by Councilmember James Rodriguez’s tenure on the City Council, representing District I. In our opinion, he has served both his community and the greater City quite exceptionally. Now, after three successful terms on the City Council, the time has come for his successor to be chosen.

The race consists of four candidates: Leticia Ablaza, Robert Gallegos, Graciana Garces and Ben Mendez. Each candidate represents a different facet of the community, and deserves special recognition for such representation. Serendipitously, these associations perfectly mirror a recent State Senate election in District 6, a largely overlapping constituency.

First, this board has admired the honesty and bravery of Leticia Ablaza’s campaign. While we largely disagree with the political positions of Ms Ablaza, and believe they would be antithetical to the success of the district, this board is impressed by how well she has stuck to her guns, in spite of unyielding criticism and unpopularity. Simply put, we believe that Ms Ablaza would become a second Helena Brown if elected to the Houston City Council, making symbolic no votes at every opportunity, something this City absolutely cannot afford.

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Unspeakably offensive

The Houston Chronicle reports that Ben Mendez, a candidate for the City Council District I, has lost a key backer in his campaign for the City Council. This occurred in response to two serious issues that have arisen over Mendez’s candidacy.

Much like the frontrunner in the open election of District D, Dwight Boykins, Ben Mendez (a self-proclaimed frontrunner himself) has seen a plethora of attacks in the heavily Democratic district for either not being Democratic enough or for being a closet Republican. Among the many aversions cast upon Mendez is that he voted for John McCain, a partisan attack reminiscent of this debunked mailer against Dwight Boykins.

However, what caused the endorsement withdrawal in Mendez’s case was a far less venial issue. The backer, William Lawson, is a legend in both the City’s history of Civil Rights as well as its African-American community. While District I does not have a very high black population, the turnout among the community in Houston during municipal elections is remarkably high. Accordingly, Mendez has been begging for Lawson’s support throughout his campaign. Mendez does not have a “Supporters” page on his website, but if he did, I would imagine it would place Lawson’s name front and center.

In response to alleged issues with Mendez’s integrity, his campaign’s tactics and alleged comments of his, Lawson withdrew his support of Mendez in a strongly worded open letter. I have reprinted the letter below (emphasis added):

Mr. Mendez:

I have been unable to reach your campaign office by phone, and nothing in your literature gives me an e-mail address, or even the physical address of your campaign office beyond a P. 0. Box, so I have to return to the old tradition of mailed letters.

This is written with some sadness.  I am withdrawing my public support of your campaign, and will ask that you no longer use my name.  I have some serious problems regarding your position on the gang rape of an 11-year-old girl.  I am naïve, and not very sophisticated in political positions, but I am a serious advocate of the weak.  You sounded insensitive to the predicament of that child.  I don’t know the particulars of the Graci Garces issue, but I likewise have problems with negative campaigning.

I admire you as a civic leader, as a businessman, and as a friend.  I think you will make a good Councilman for District I.  I simply cannot continue to take a stand for underclasses and give public endorse-ment for someone who would ignore them.

It may be better that I could not reach you electronically.  This way you have it in writing.

With some pain,
[/s] William “Bill” Lawson

The “Graci Garces issue” that Lawson references is an item first dug up back in May, when Ben Mendez allegedly spread around an unflattering photograph of his opponent. At the time, Mendez’s campaign vehemently denied that they had spread around the photo and the issue eventually went away.

The other issue that Lawson reference is what, as the title of this post suggests, is unspeakably offensive. The reference of the unspeakable crimes committed against an 11-year old girl, of course, are relating to the infamous Cleveland Gang Rape case that took place in 2010, and was largely prosecuted in 2012 (with all of the accused being found guilty and given lengthy sentences, including life in prison). Many in the community accused the media and many in the community of painting too sympathetic a picture of the eighteen men who simultaneously raped a child. The most famous of which was Quannel X, a local community activist, who suggested that it was somehow the young child’s fault for being gang raped. Other common calumnies in this case were that child “looked older,” “dressed older” and was a seductress who attempted to trick men into raping her. If Mendez indeed made an insensitive unspeakably offensive comment about this issue, it would have probably been along those lines of faulty reasoning.

Mendez’s campaign, for its part, has vehemently denied this association. Joaquin Martinez, Mendez’s campaign manager, provided the following statement:

Regarding the Chronicle blog on Ben Mendez, as a father he finds such suggestions abhorrent and reprehensible. As a front-runner in District I Ben Mendez remains committed to running a positive campaign based upon the issues and the needs of the district. It is unfortunate when opponents respond to the heat of competition by circulating false statements and negative attacks.

Leticia Ablaza’s campaign could not be reached for comment, while Robert Gallegos and Graci Garces’ campaigns, respectively, declined to comment.

As livid as these comments made me, and as much as I want to tear into Mendez for holding such unspeakably offensive views, we all must exercise some restraint on this issue until more information can come out. Given the dirty tactics being used thus far in the campaign, it would not surprise me if the allegations against Mendez turned out to be false. However, I will be keeping up on the issue, and if the allegations turn out to be true, I will show no mercy in my treatment of the campaign.

Harris County Young Democrats endorse

Yesterday, the Harris County Young Democrats met for their endorsement meeting. I must say that it was the closest I have ever followed a breaking political event exclusively on Twitter.

The organization’s executive board recommended a slate of candidates, which a lot of opts to not endorse, many of which were overruled by the general body of the organization. The body began by endorsing Annise Parker for Mayor, followed by supporting the unopposed Democrats on the council: Ellen Cohen, Ed Gonzalez, Mike Laster and Larry Green. They went on to support some more Democrats in races where they were the only Democrat, specifically Ronald Green and C.O. Bradford.

The organization decided not to offer up endorsements in all seats where only Republicans were running, At-large 1, District A, District E, District F & District G. They then, after contentious fights, decided not to field endorsements in half the races involving multiple Democrats, namely in At-large 2, At-large 3 & District D. Although, in District, Dwight Boykins received plurality support, though still shy of the threshold to receive the endorsement. Similarly, David Robinson and Rogene Calvert received the pluralities, respectively, in AL2 and AL3.

The HCYD did, however, make some endorsements in races with competitive Democratic presences, specifically endorsing James S. Horwitz in At-large 5, as well as Jerry Davis in District B and Ben Mendez in District I.

The endorsements are somewhat noteworthy, as the group has taken a far-less cozy relationship with the Conservative members of the City Council, unlike, for example, the LGBT Caucus (I do know the caucus is officially non-partisan, but I also know its members are overwhelmingly Democratic) or the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats.

Further, the lack of an endorsement in AL2, AL3 or District D is somewhat surprising, given they could make up their mind on AL5, District B & District I. Plenty of liberal groups have supported Assata Richards in the past, so it is somewhat surprising to not even see her in the plurality there. Similarly, the straight-up endorsement of Ben Mendez turned a lot of heads, including Stace Medellin of Dos Centavos.

Overall, I thought the endorsement process was very open to the group, though many Democrats are probably disappointed by the lack of recommendations in the hard, crowded races. The Texpatriate Editorial Board has yet to begin discussing endorsements, but given our rules requiring 3/4 of the members to agree, I would not be surprised if we decline to formally endorse in some of the races.

I don’t know about my colleagues, but speaking for just myself, I know that, if any such situations arise, I will write an individual endorsement in that race.

Texpatriate’s Questions for Ben Mendez

Editorial note: This is the twelfth in our series of electronic interviews with City Council, City Controller and Mayoral candidates. We have sent 10 questions based on seven different templates: (1) incumbent City Council, (2) challenger City Council, (3) open seat City Council, (4) challenger Controller, (5) incumbent Controller, (6) challenger Mayoral and (7) incumbent Mayoral. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.


Ben Mendez, Candidate for Houston City Council District I

Texpatriate: What is your name?BM: My name is Ben Mendez.

T: What is your current occupation?
BM: I am President and Founder of PMG Project Management Group, LLC. PMG was recently awarded by ICIC at Harvard University as the 41st fastest growing inner-city business in the country.

T: Have you run for or held public office before?
BM: I was a Democratic candidate for State Representative, District 145 in 1992 and 1998.

T: What is your political affiliation? We understand that City Council elections are nonpartisan, but this is a point many voters find important. If you are not comfortable currently identifying with a political party, what was the last Political Party’s primary election you voted in (a matter of public record)?
BM: I am a Democrat, and I have consistently voted in Democratic Primaries for the last 25 years.

T: Open seats typically attract countless candidates. Why are you specifically running for this seat?
BM: I am running for Houston City Council. District I.  As a former City Council Aide, I always knew I would one day run for City Council. I have a passion to provide safe, affordable housing for seniors, improve infrastructure and uplift the quality of life for the district.

I have lived, worked and raised my family in the District for over 18 years, and I am aware of some of the disparities in resources & services which have not been addressed. Since my early years as a teacher at Austin High School in the heart of the district, I have found ways to seed into the success of families and young people.  I will continue to do so as a Councilmember.

T: Are you in contact with the incumbent Councilmember for this position? Would the two of you have a good relationship for a possible transition?
BM: I am well-acquainted with the incumbent Councilmember, and believe the focus on the needs of the people will result in a smooth transition.

T: What do you hope to get out of serving on the City Council?
BM: Serving on City Council would allow me to apply my skill sets to uplift the community. I have a unique perspective due to my experience as a business owner, educator, and community servant.  I will be able to leverage relationships to bring new resources into the district.

My qualifications/assets I feel earn great consideration are as follows:

Management & Budget Experience with the City of Houston
As former Manager of Building Services Department Capital Improvement Plan, I played a key role in the development of the City of Houston’s 5-year Construction Plan. In addition, I was hired by the Houston Independent School District to develop the district’s 5-year Capital Improvement Plan for the construction and renovation of schools.

Small Business Experience
As the Founder and President of PMG, I offer more than 10 years of experience in the energy, architectural, engineering, and construction industries, with special expertise in managing, budgeting, and program/policy development.

As the Chairman of Texas Association of Mexican-American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC), I have proven experience in promoting strategic to enhance small business growth in the community.

Community Organizing Experience
As the founder and board member of various community organizations and as a former Union Steward for the Houston Federation of Teachers, I have the community relationships and grass-roots organizing experience to increase civic engagement in our communities.

T: What is an ordinance you would introduce in your next term?
BM: I plan to introduce ordinances to strengthen the security of existing property-owners in the district, and green initiatives to promote energy efficiency.

T: Obviously, an officeholder strives to maintain a diverse core constituency and political base, but all candidates have interest groups they have been traditionally strong with and traditionally weak with, respectively. For you, what would be one example of each type of group?
BM: The ethnic breakdown of District I is as follows:
77%      Latino
12%      African-American
9%        Anglo
2%        Asian

I have a strong base in the Latino neighborhoods in the heart of the district due to having lived there for over 18 years, worked there as both an educator and public servant, and a strong advocate for immigration reform.  I have helped hundreds of people gain citizenship over the years in District I through a non-profit I chaired.

Outside of my base, I have solid long-standing relationships with members of all communities. These relationships give me the ability to engage stakeholders outside of my traditional base.  I am a strong believer in collaboration.

T: What has been the most important thing you have learned in your campaign?
BM: This campaign has underscored the importance of commitment and staying grounded in the community.  Working families have dreams and the desire to take part in the decisions affecting their lives and are anxious to have their voices heard. Our campaign has been grass-roots with young and energetic volunteers knocking on doors.

Consequently, I’ve been gratified to earn the support of community organizations such as the Association of Federal State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the International Longshoreman’s Association (ILA), The Teamsters, the Communication Workers of America (CWA), the Flight Attendants Association (AFA), The Afro-American Sheriff’s Deputy League, the Ironworkers, and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW), who represent scores of families ready for a new day in District I.

State of the Municipal Races

Daily Commentary has a somewhat exhaustive list of municipal candidates, but I felt like I needed to do the due diligence myself. Accordingly, this morning, after I left the Federal Courthouse for the day, I walked across the street to City Hall and visited Anna Russell’s office to see the Campaign Treasurer files for myself. Luckily I got out of both buildings before things went to hell. But you can watch the 6 o’clock news about all that. Anyways, I want to list the candidates and discuss each of the candidates’ financial records.

First up, the two new candidates for Mayor. Keryl Douglas, the homophobic, bigoted unsuccessful candidate in last year’s campaign for Harris County Democratic Party Chair, has thrown her hat into the ring.  Douglas’ website is still a shell, containing nothing about the infamous Douglas Plan or her supporters. Like Eric Dick’s entrance into this race, I do not think this is really going to affect Parker’s chances. Douglas is just going to turn votes away from Ben Hall, because none of the Parker’s voters would go for the homophobe. Pardon my tone, but I will be pulling no punches against candidates for Mayor on this issue.

The other new candidate for Mayor is Victoria Lane. I found a telephone number on her from the treasurer form, but no website and no hits from I Googled her name.

The self-proclaimed Green Party candidate, Don Cook. Cook raised a little more than $10k, of which a negligible amount is still on hand. The self-proclaimed Socialist Worker, Michael Fitzsimmons, did not submit a form. I guess private campaign donations are sort of anathema to the glorious proletariat revolution, or what not. The self-proclaimed Republican, Eric Dick, did not file a form delineating his donations. He did, however, have about $11k in expenses. Victoria Lane raised about $4k.

Annise Parker’s campaign, meanwhile, raised a total of $2.2M, and only spent a fraction of that amount. But the real story is Ben Hall’s farce of a campaign. Hall raised a measly $300k or so, going significantly in the red, including a $1.5M loan. This is a far cry from his claims to be raising so much money. Oh well.

No new candidates for this race. Still a classic one-on-one fight between Green and Frazer. In this race, Green has raised about $70k, with most of it still on hand. Frazer, a Republican CPA, raised about $50k and spent close to 80% of the total.

Costello is still unopposed, as of now. The Councilmember raised a whopping $156k. Perhaps he has higher ambitions. Speaking of Costello, what the heck is his political affiliation nowadays? Once upon a time, I remember thinking he was a Republican, but between his common alignment with the Mayor and liberal takes on social issues (pro-choice and pro-gay marriage), I do not think the GOP would ever support his candidacy in this State.

Councilmember Burks has three opponents: David Robinson, Trebor Gordon and Carolyn Evans-Shabazz. Burks, for his part, raised $41K and only spent a fraction of it. Robinson raised over $80k, but, as Dos Centavos points out, he probably has to retire some old campaign debt. Accordingly, he only has about $50k fit for spending. Still more than the incumbent.

Trebor Gordon is not a name I had heard in connection with this race before. He has a website as http://www.treborgordon.com/ and is an avowed Republican. It will be interesting to see what he does. The other name is Carolyn Evans-Shabbaz. A cursory Facebook search reveals a deep dissatisfaction with the Trayvon Martin case and close frienship with Assata-Nicole Richards, both tell-tale signs of a Democrat. Gordon raised about $1500, while Evans-Shabbaz did not submit a return.

Here comes the mess.

First up is Michael Kubosh, who raised over $100k ($108k, to be exact). Right next to this total is Rogene Calvert, who raised $84k and retained most the cash.

Roland Chavez raised about $27k, and only spent a couple thousand. Chris Carmona is completely destitute. Roy Morales raised $37k and spent $35k of that. This is surprising, and not just because Dos Centavos originally called him broke as well. Morales did not run for anything in 2011 or 2012. That’s like a new record for him or something.

Jenifer Pool, who seemed to have filed late, raised $34k and spent most of the total. Al Edwards, who still in unofficially officially in the AL3, did not file a return.

Bradford, presumably running for re-election, raised $54k with most of it still in the bank.

Jack Christie raised a whopping $95k, with over 2/3 still on hand. Even worse, he has not a single opponent. Personally, I think Robinson should run against Christie. Sure, Burks is a little odd and sometimes frustrates progressives, but Christie is legitimately a Conservative Republican who goes on anti-vaccine rants.

Once upon a time, I had heard of quite a few possible candidates for this race, from former State Reps, former City Councilmembers, activists to lawyers. I think I even read my father’s name mentioned for this one. Alas, no one will step up. I’d put my own name on the ballot if push comes to shove, but I feel there will be at least token opposition.

District A
This race really boils down to a third-person race between the incumbent, Helena Brown, the former one-term Councilmember, Brenda Stardig, and Amy Peck.  Ron Hale, Mike Knox and Catarina Cron are the other candidates I have hard from in this race. This is still no Democrat in the race.

Brown raised about $67k, spending a little under half of the total. Stardig, meanwhile, did not report raising any money. Peck  raised a pitiful $4k. In this regard, it looks like the incumbent may not have that hard of a time after all.

Ron Hale picked up $2.5k, while Knox took in a whopping $41k. Cron did not submit a report.

District B
The incumbent, Jerry Davis, will be facing some opposition next year within his own party. For his part, he raised about $53k and spent a negligible amount.

He has two declared opponents: Joe Joseph & Katherine Blueford-Daniels. I can’t really find anything on the former candidate, but Blueford-Daniels does come up with a few searches. She is being supported predominantly by Carol Mims Galloway, the former Councilmember and School Board member in that district and NAACP leader. This, of course, begs the question of how much other support Blueford-Daniels has.

Joseph did not file a return, but Blueford-Daniels did. However, she only raised $5k.

District C
Ellen Cohen could very possibly draw some opponents, including Brian Cweren, her biggest 2011 opponent. However, the only other candidate who has filed a campaign treasurer or campaign report is Pete Sosa. For the life of me, I cannot find a Facebook page or other meaningful internet footprint.

Cohen raised $128k, with most of it still on hand. Sosa did not file any sort of report.

District D
The District D race might actually have more people in it than the AL3 one. Dwight Boykins, who is backed by much of the old guard political establishment including Mayor Brown, raised $150k with over $100k left unspent.

There are a few other well-known candidates, Assata-Nicole Richards and Georgia Provost. The former raised $37k with half on hand, while the latter raised $21k with little on hand.

Onto the new candidates, the first is Kirk White. White has a Facebook page for his campaign, but it doesn’t go into very much detail about anything. I have no idea if he’s a Democrat in the Democratic district, or not. He filed a report of less than $1k in contributions.

Then there is a Keith Caldwell. Caldwell is an activist in the Democratic Party, serving positions at both the Precinct and Senate District Level. He has a website and big social media presence already. His campaign, however, raised a measly $2.75k with full expenses.

Travis McGee, the past Sunnyside Civic Group President, has also been conducting a campaign. He’s raised nearly $5k and spent about all of it.

Not filing reports but registered as candidates anyways are Anthony Robinson, Larry McKinzie and Lana Edwards. Robinson just has a shell of a website. Though his Facebook page is more active and suggests he was involved in the big Trayvon Martin protests yesterday. I guess it is safe to assume he is a Democrat.

McKinzie, who now has a website, previously ran against Adams in 2009. Another Democrat.

Edwards has a little shell thing here, but I can’t figure out much else.

District E
At this point I think Councilmember Martin is just running unopposed. He has raised $53k with $23k on hand.

District F
Likewise, Councilmember Hoang has yet to draw any opposition. He raised just $13k with just $11k on hand.

District G
Councilmember Pennington is not unopposed, however. Pennington raised a very impressive $189k for his campaign, so it will probably not be a credible threat.

I had been wondering if Clyde Bryan would make another run for his seat, again with the bandit signs and such. He is not, Bryan will be working on Dick’s campaign. But a candidate named Brian Taef is running. I could not find any trace of him on Google, but Taef did file a campaign report. He raised $150, for the record.

District H
At this point, it looks like Ed Gonzalez will be unopposed for yet another term. He raised close to $80k with most of it still on hand.

District I
We start things off with the pseudo-favorite, Graci Garces, Councilmember Rodriguez’s Chief of Staff. Garces raised about $19k with most of it still on hand. Her main competitor, Ben Mendez, raised a huge $94k.

Robert Gallegos, yet another Democrat in the race, got about $17k. The lone Republican, Leticia Ablaza, got $27k with about $16k on hand still.

As Dos Centavos points out, until March Garces, and Gallegos were competing with the SD06 race for donors. Accordingly, their numbers may have been retarded in comparison with the Republican candidate. Although that does not explain Mendez.

District J
Councilmember Laster, with $66k in donations and $81 on hand, is unopposed.

District K
Councilmember Green, with $93k raised and most still on hand, is likewise unopposed.

That’s all, folks. Off the KuffDos Centavos and Greg’s Opinion all have a lot more. They’ve been doing this stuff since before my Bar Mitzvah, so I highly suggesting consulting their work too.

District I getting heated

From the Houston Press:


Evidently, Graciana Garces is upset over the fact that Ben Mendez’s campaign has been spreading around this photo of her. Garces’ annoyance is understandable, especially considering that this isn’t Junior High. Now, there isn’t any proof to this story, but this isn’t even the part where it gets weird.

After the blogosphere and internets began blowing up over this thing, Hair Balls decided to try and get the real story. This is where it gets weird. Evidently, after frantically avoiding the Press‘ requests for contact, the Mendez campaign changed their phone number on their website. Further, the new telephone number had an unbearably broad voicemail did not identify the campaign. It is like the Mendez campaign is intentionally trying to avoid the Press.

Further, James Rodriguez, the incumbent City Councilmember for the District, is not even attempting to seem neutral. He is a full-fledged supporter of his former staffer, Garces. A recent Facebook post from Councilmember Rodriguez reads as follows:

It has come to my attention that I have exceeded my allotted number of friends per Facebook rules. Please read below and if you are affiliated or a supporter of this “wanna-be” [Mendez] please click the unfriend action to my page so I add positive people that want to continue moving Houston forward. Since I’m doing some spring cleaning anyone supporting Ablaza or Gallegos can also do the same.

Whoa. This is going to be a heated election. I tend to like Garces, she is a good fit for the district, but I loathe the idea of someone simply being served an elected office on a silver platter. Mendez and Robert Gallegos are also Democrats–they have similar political views are Garces–they have every right to be running. If Mendez has really been doing these schoolyard bully tactics, then it is absolutely right to condemn him, but I have not found any conclusive evidence to that effect.

Campos has more (about his client, of course).

Kubosh et al is in

My plane lands in Houston tomorrow morning, I’ll be there for six days, and then Austin for two more.

Anyways, Michael Kubosh was on the steps of City Hall, announcing his intentions for Councilmember Noriega’s term-limited seat. I haven’t seen Michael since I interned at the Criminal Courthouse, but he is quite an interesting guy, so I expect this race to be a lot of fun.

According to the Chronicle article, Kubosh was flanked by prominent Republicans, including Chris Daniels and Allen Fletcher, as well as many leaders in the African-American community, James Nash and Quannell X. In short, if he ran for Mayor, he could very well expose all of Parker’s weaknesses at once–but more on that later. The article named a lot of names, including Chris Carmona, an attorney who ran against Noriega in 2011. Carmona will seek the seat again, and already has a website here. The GOP has claimed the guy, for the record.

The article also mentioned a few names for District A, District D and District I that I have not seen before. 5 to be exact. First, there is a woman named Assata-Nicole Richards, who is the Vice-Chairwoman of the Houston Housing Authority Board. Then, there is Georgia Provost and Keith Caldwell. I have never heard of these people, but I do not think that they have run for office before. I’ll go out on a limb and say that Richards is a Democrat (how many Housing board people are tea baggers?). A curosry search of Provost will show that she does some fundraising with TSU, specifically with El Franco Lee. Further, she likes a lot of Democratic officeholders on her facebook page, so I’ll label her a as well. Finally, Caldwell has this weird dead link with the HCDP, so it is probably safe to assume he is a Democrat as well.

In District I, Ben Mendez is mentioned. Mendez has a website. A quick search on the TX Trib will show that Mr Mendez has run for office twice before, both times in HD145. He ran in the 1998 Democratic Primary, when Diane Davila retired, ultimately losing to Rick Noriega. Further, he ran in the 1992 Democratic Primary for the seat, when Davila was first nominated.

Ronald Hale will be running for District A. Still ambiguous on this guy’s leanings, but he sounds like a Republican. Big Jolly has confirmed, too, that Mike Knox is a Republican.

I will update the election tab page, but this election season sounds like fun.

UPDATE: It’s MICHAEL. MICHAEL Kubosh, as Kuff so publicly point out. I read the Chronicle article, and then wrote this, pretty quickly on my phone right before I got on an airplane, so I am sure there are a few grammatical errors herein.