HARRIS COUNTY – Voters cast their votes early, starting on Monday, October 22. This mid-term election is considered by most political observers to be an important statement about the current Republican control of the White House, Congress, and the Texas government. Although the president is not on the ballot this time, many important seats in Congress and Texas will be decided. In addition, a number of local Harris County positions are on the ballot, and an important choice in the city of Houston regarding pay for firemen. Election Day is Tuesday, November 6, but Early Voting started on Monday, October 22 and continues through Friday, November 2. Hours that the polls are open are as follows:
Oct. 22-26 8 am – 4:30 pm
Oct. 27 7 am – 7 pm
Oct. 28 1 pm – 6 pm
Oct. 29-Nov 2 7 am – 7 pm
The election for U. S. Senate has probably gained the most attention, both in Texas and nationally, Incumbent Senator Ted Cruz has seen a strong challenge from Democratic candidate Beto O’Rourke, who has raised much more money than Cruz in his campaign, and seems to have an enthusiastic grass roots support among the public. A visit last Monday by President Trump on behalf of Cruz is thought to boost his chances for re-election.
A number of U. S. Representatives seats are open for election, including District 2, formerly held by Ted Poe, who retired. Candidates in this district include Dan Crenshaw and Todd Litton; District 6, with incumbent Kevin Brady vs. Steven David; District 18 with incumbent Sheila Jackson Lee vs. Ava Reynero Pate; and District 29, where long term Representative Gene Green has retired, and State Senator Sylvia Garcia is running against Phillip Aronoff.
Governor Abbott is defending his seat against challenger Lupe Valdez, and Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick is running against challenger Mike Collier. Another state race that has gathered attention is Attorney General, where the beleaguered incumbent Ken Paxton is running against Democratic challenger Justin Nelson.
In state Senate races, in District 7 incumbent Paul Bettencourt vs. David Romero; and District 15, Randy Orr is challenging incumbent Democrat John Whitmire.
A number of State Representatives are running unopposed, and therefore will be re-elected. These include Brisco Cain in District 128;Armando Walle in District 140; Senfronia Thompson in 141; and Ana Hernandez in 143.
In contested races for State Representative, incumbent Dan Huberty faces Libertarian challenger Ryan Woods; District 144 incumbent Mary Ann Perez vs. Republican Ruben Villarreal; and District 145, incumbent Carol Alvarado faces Libertarian Clayton Hunt.
Harris County voters will decide on keeping well respected incumbent judge Ed Emmett, or vote for Democratic challenger Lina Hidalgo.
Other county offices of interest include District Clerk, with incumbent Chris Daniel vs. Marilyn Burgess; County Clerk, with well known incumbent Stan Stanart vs. Diane Trautman; County Treasurer, Orlando Sanchez vs. Dylan Osborne.
An interesting race for county school trustee, Position 3 at Large, is where well-known East Aldine District executive Richard Cantu is running against Marc Cowart for the HCDE board. Cantu has been endorsed by this newspaper.
Several County Commissioner seats are to be elected including Precinct 2, where the incumbent Republican Jack Morman faces Democratic challenger Adrian Garcia; and Precinct 4, where incumbent Republican Jack Cagle faces Democrat Penny Shaw.
In races for Justice of the Peace, of local interest is Precinct 3, Place 2. Lucia Bates is running unopposed. This district includes the North Channel, Channelview, North Forest and a part of the Aldine area.
Voters in the Lone Star College area will be asked to decide between Michael Stoma or George Edwards, Jr. in District 1; Ernestine Pierce or Matthew Wheeler in District 2; and Mike Sullivan or G. Puente in District 8.
For voters who reside in the City of Houston, two propositions will be on the ballot, both concerning the finances of the city, and both controversial and considered important.
Proposition A known as ReBuild Houston calls for voters to approve the City’s existing street and drainage program, and secure the revenue so other departments cannot use it.
Proposition B asks voters whether they are in favor of Firemen receiving the same pay as police officers.
Mayor Turner has indicated that he is in favor of Proposition A, and against Proposition B, which he says the city is unable to afford, cannot raise taxes, and therefore will have to lay off large amounts of firefighters and city workers.
EARLY VOTING LOCATIONS
— North Channel Branch Library, 15741 Wallisville Road
— Galena Park Library, 1500 Keene Street
— John Phelps Courthouse, 101 S. Richey Street
— East Harris County Activity Center, 7340 Spencer Highway
— Baytown Community Center, 2407 Market Street
— Northeast Multi Service Center, 9720 Spaulding
— Atascocita Branch LIbrary, 19520 Pinehurst Trail Drive
— County Attorney Conference Center, 1019 Congress, downtown Houston