Here are the results for the Democratic and Republican Primary runoffs elections in Harris County. Henry Cooper should be happy that Ed Gonzalez won his race for Harris County sheriff. Gonzalez now moves on to challenge incumbent Ron Hickman, who by some fluke was selected to replace Adrian Garcia when Garcia resigned to run for mayor in 2015.
Angie (Hippolyta) Hayes, Amazon Warrior for All That's Good, made an impassioned plea to her Facebook community to vote for Dakota Carter in the runoff for State Board of Education, District 6. Carter will face incumbent Donna Bahorich, who was unopposed in March's Republican Primary.
Number 6 is the only one of the 15 SBOE districts that lies entirely within Harris County, mostly in the western portion excluding Katy, Hockley, and up yonder. It also extends inside Loop 610 west of Main Street and Hardy Street, except the old Fourth and Sixth Wards.
There is also some fairly good news from up in the Piney Woods: Mary Lou "Obama Used to Be a Gay Prostitute" Bruner lost her runoff in SBOE District 9. I actually donated to the GoFundMe to get her defeated. Keven Ellis will most likely defeat Democrat Amanda Rudolph to replace outgoing Vice Chair Thomas Ratliff. Here are your statewide results for the runoffs, Texas.
Harris History: A Bluer Shade of Red?
The mention above of Adrian Garcia and the Sheriff's Department got me thinking that I wanted to go back and look at recent election results during presidential years. While I would love to see my home county turn Green, it has been somewhat encouraging to see it turn blue—or bluer, at least—during presidential election years.
For those not aware of Harris County's political history, the county as a whole has been largely Republican for some time. Even before 1994, the shocking beginning of Republicans' winning streak in Texas government, Harris County had a Republican majority on the Commissioners' Court, and almost all the district courts had Republican judges. In the 1960s, when (Tory) Democrats held all the statewide offices and the Legislature, the county elected Republican Roy Hofheinz as county judge.
More recently, however, in presidential years, our local Democrats have been getting off their butts to vote: The Obama Effect put Garcia in the sheriff's seat in 2008 and 2012. The 2008 election also saw Democrats elected county attorney (Vince Ryan) and district clerk (Loren Jackson). Ryan, a bit of of Tory Democrat himself, won re-election in 2012. The margins were narrow, with Obama himself winning the county by .08% in 2012. Republicans still won positions like tax assessor-collector and district attorney, but not by much, as when the appalling buffoon and "Tea Party Democrat" Lloyd Oliver somehow got nearly 48% of the vote in 2012.
Here's a fairly scary development for Houston's liberals and progressives, however: While the City of Houston is considered the liberal center of Harris County's conservative jelly doughnut, that situation may not last. Why? In a word, gentrification. In a whole lot more words, people of means are discovering that they want urban amenities and shorter commutes; local developers are only too happy to oblige them, buying up and knocking down older housing stock to replace it with luxury lofts, mid-rises, and high-rises.
The wave of redevelopment in traditionally low-income neighborhoods means more money making its way into the urban core, bolstering the tax base for Houston and the Houston Independent School District. Yea. But, while many of these well-heeled influxers have socially liberal views, you can bet the townhome that a good percentage of them will vote for conservative candidates in our non-partisan municipal and school board races. By my estimate, Democrats currently have a solid 10-7 or 11-6 majority on City Council, Mayor Turner included. What will it look like after the 2023 election, after the next round of redistricting?