12 Hidalgo challengers among dozens who filed for Harris County races – Houston Chronicle

A dozen potential challengers to Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo were among the scores who filed ahead of Monday’s deadline to run for county offices next year.

The county will hold elections for county judge, two county commissioner seats, county clerk, district clerk, treasurer, justices of the peace, and criminal and civil judges.

Democrats have won every countywide election since 2016 and are seeking to oust the few remaining Republicans in county posts. Republicans hope a surge in enthusiasm coupled with dwindling popularity of Democratic President Joe Biden will help the party reverse its fortunes in Texas’ largest county.

“It would take the Biden administration’s approval to fall further from where it is now,” said Rice University political science professor Mark P. Jones. “I think, realistically, we’re looking at another countywide Democratic sweep.”

Jones said Republicans would be wise to focus their efforts on precinct-level races, where there are higher shares of conservative voters.

Hidalgo, who is seeking a second term, faces three candidates in the Democratic primary: former Precinct 1 Constable’s Office Chief of Staff Erica Davis, real estate broker AR Hassan and photographer Georgia Provost.

Nine Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination, including attorney Vidal Martinez, former Army Capt. Alexandra del Moral Mealer, Humble Independent School District board president Martina Lemond Jackson and Randy Kubosh, brother of Houston Councilman Michael Kubosh. The others are Oscar Gonzales, George Zoes, Robert Dorris, Warren Howell and HQ Bolanos.

Democratic Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia narrowly won his seat in 2018, though his party in October redrew the precinct boundaries in part to make his re-election easier. Garcia faces two primary challengers, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace George Risner and Gary Harrison.

Five Republicans are running for the GOP nod, including Deer Park Mayor Jerry Mouton and Jack Morman, a two-term Precinct 2 commissioner Garcia beat four years ago. The others are former Pasadena Mayor and Councilman John Manlove, Daniel Jason and Richard Vega.

The Democratic redistricting likely will have a great effect on the race for Precinct 4 commissioner, to the detriment of incumbent Republican Jack Cagle. Based on previous election trends, the new precinct boundaries shift the precinct from safely Republican — Cagle won by 8 points in 2018 — to likely Democratic.

Five Democrats are attempting to seize the opportunity, including former state Rep. Gina Calanni, County Court at Law Judge Lesley Briones and former Harris County elections staffer Benjamin Chou. Also running are Ann Williams and Jeffrey Stauber.

Cagle has no opponent in the Republican primary.

Democrats are seeking a fourth seat on the Commissioners Court so they can set tax rates without any Republican interference. They failed to capture Precinct 3 two years ago, vacated by the retirement of Republican Steve Radack, before redistricting.

Democratic incumbent Teneshia Hudspeth faces no primary challengers for county clerk, and Stan Stanart is the only Republican who filed. Stanart, whom Democrat Diane Trautman beat in 2018 before resigning for health reasons, hopes to win his old post back.

The county clerk now has fewer responsibilities since the Commissioners Court last year reassigned the duty of running elections to an unelected administrator.

Democratic District Clerk Marilyn Burgess faces one primary challenger, Desiree Broadnax. Former District Chris Daniel was the only Republican to file.

Incumbent Dylan Osborn will face Carla Wyatt in the Democratic primary for treasurer. Harris County Department of Education Trustee Eric Dick will compete against Kyle Scott for the Republican nomination.

Of the eight justice of the peace seats up for election next year, the Democratic Party had no candidates in Precincts 4 and 8, according to the secretary of state’s website. Republicans fielded no candidates in Precincts 1, 2, 6 and 7.

The primary elections are March 1.

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Source: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/12-Hidalgo-challengers-among-dozens-who-file-for-16699598.php

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