Off the Kuff Rotating Header Image

Posts under ‘Election 2017’

Firefighters petition for a raise

Whatever. Houston firefighters are launching a campaign to place on item on the November ballot asking voters to mandate parity in pay between corresponding firefighter and police-officer ranks. The petition drive to amend the city charter, slated to launch Saturday morning, follows the fire union’s decision last month to sue the city over stalled contract […]

Precinct analysis: Humble ISD

I’d been meaning to go back to the Humble ISD election in May, where two Project LIFT candidates were running against incumbent members, to see what I could learn. The canvass reports are up on the Harris County Clerk website, and I had a bit of spare time, so here we go. Pcnct Whitmire Cunningham […]

Petitions have been submitted for Heights alcohol vote 2.0

That was quick. Voters in the Heights will likely have the opportunity to further loosen alcohol restrictions in the neighborhood this November now that activists have secured more than the 1,500 signatures required to get a measure on the ballot. […] When Houston annexed what was the incorporated city of the Heights in 1918, the […]

Mike Lunceford announces he is not running for re-election

Two-term HISD Trustee in District V Mike Lunceford posted the following on Facebook yesterday: Sometimes when you are passionate about something it is very hard to walk away from it. After 8 years on the Houston ISD School Board and over 25 years as an active participant in education in Houston I have decided not […]

Bonds on the ballot

Mayor Turner has one more item to deal with this November. Mayor Sylvester Turner is poised ask voters to approve bonds this fall to fund improvements to city parks, community centers, fire stations and health clinics, adding hundreds of millions of dollars in debt to a crowded November ballot. The proposed five-year capital improvement plan, […]

When might the Supreme Court speak on the Houston term limits lawsuit?

So as you know there is an ongoing lawsuit over the language used in the 2015 referendum that altered the city’s term limits ordinance. It was filed shortly after the election, with the city winning the first round in district court. Appeals are ongoing, with the most recent ruling coming this past January on a […]

May runoff results

I know I’ve been all about the Pearland and Pasadena runoffs, but this is easily the big story from yesterday. With little more than 75% of precincts reporting, Mayor Ivy Taylor conceded victory to Councilman Ron Nirenberg (D8) just after 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 10. Nirenberg received 54.43% of the vote to Taylor’s 45.57% […]

Yes, there will be constitutional amendments on the November ballot

They’re not very interesting, which in this environment is a blessing, but they will be there. House Joint Resolution 21 What will be on the ballot: “The constitutional amendment authorizing the Legislature to provide for an exemption from ad valorem taxation of part of the market value of the residence homestead of a partially disabled […]

Today is Runoff Day

While I have nothing to vote for tomorrow, there are hot races in Pasadena and Pearland. Changes in Pearland’s demographics have mirrored those in Houston, amplifying the effects of what this election will show, University of Houston political scientist Brandon Rottinghaus said. “This election will tell us a lot about where the future of Houston […]

No Astrodome vote this fall

This is a bit of a surprise. [Sen. John] Whitmire filed a bill that would force the county to get voter approval before spending any money on the Dome. “It’s a dream and you shouldn’t spend taxpayer dollars on a dream,” Whitmire said. Whitmire’s bill sailed through the Senate, but hit a brick wall in […]

Runoff endorsement watch: Moon for Mayor

The Chron picks their second choice for Mayor of Pasadena. The second-largest city in Harris County could use a good shake-up. That’s why voters should elect John “J.R.” Moon Jr. for mayor in the city’s runoff election. Moon, 58, would bring the outsider perspective that Pasadena needs. He has spent the past decade as a […]

Things get ugly in the Pearland runoffs

Nasty. The hijab that Dalia Kasseb wears in public never seemed to disturb Woody Owens, her opponent in a June 10 runoff for a Pearland City Council position. Owens, Kasseb told me, has been perfectly cordial when their paths have crossed on the campaign trail. Imagine Kasseb’s surprise, then, when she watched a video that […]

Cornyn withdraws from consideration to succeed Comey

It was fun while it lasted. John Cornyn withdrew from consideration to be the next FBI director on Tuesday, saying the “best way I can serve is continuing to fight for a conservative agenda in the U.S. Senate.” “Now more than ever the country needs a well-credentialed, independent FBI director,” he said in a statement. […]

So who might run for Cornyn’s Senate seat?

The short answer is “pretty much anyone”, but there are several names that are on top of everyone’s list of imagined candidates. At least three members of the U.S. House are mulling a run for a possible U.S. Senate vacancy, should President Donald Trump appoint U.S. Sen. John Cornyn as the new FBI director. U.S. […]

Interview with Anna Eastman

Anna Eastman has served two terms as HISD Trustee in District I, which is where I live. She has been a leading advocate for having strong accountability measures in place for schools, she was a frequent critic of former Superintendent Terry Grier, and she was the most outspoken Trustee for passing the recapture referendum, both […]

Mike Floyd gets his due

The newest star of Texas politics gets a nice profile in the Chron. [Mike] Floyd’s stunning victory made national headlines. While school boards have had student representatives for decades, Floyd is the youngest person in recent memory elected to a school board in Texas. His candidacy also reflects the increasing competitiveness of school board races […]

More on the HISD recapture re-referendum

Here’s the full Chron story about Saturday’s re-vote on recapture. About 84 percent of constituents voted “for” HISD’s Proposition 1, giving the school district the green light to send $77.5 million to the Texas Education Agency rather than let the state forcibly remove some of most valuable commercial properties from the district’s tax rolls. The […]

May 6 election results

First and foremost, the HISD recapture re-referendum passed by a wide margin. The Yes vote was at 85% in early and absentee voting, and it will finish with about 84%; I started writing this at 10 PM, when 437 of 468 HISD precincts had reported. Turnout was over 27,000, with over 14,000 votes on Saturday, […]

Revenue cap will be on the November ballot

Here it comes, assuming the pension reform bill doesn’t get mugged in a dark alley. Mayor Sylvester Turner plans to ask voters to lift Houston’s cap on property tax collections in November, a move that could loosen one of the city’s primary fiscal constraints as it confronts still-hefty pension and debt costs that leave little […]

Final EV report for the May 6 election

Before I get to the numbers, here’s a Chron overview of the Pasadena Mayor’s race that mentions the numbers towards the end. “I believe it’s a pivotal time in this city’s history – that it can either draw together and continue being one city, or it can divide apart and be fractured,” said John Moon […]

One last look at the recapture re-vote

There’s a lot at stake here, and not a whole lot of people voting on it. For the second time in seven months, voters within the Houston Independent School District will determine how – and if – it should pay tens of millions to help subsidize districts that collect little in property taxes. The vote […]

Justice Department will send election monitors to Pasadena

Okay. The U.S. Department of Justice is monitoring the Pasadena city elections as the suburb faces mounting federal scrutiny in the wake of a federal judge’s ruling that the city intentionally violated the Voting Rights Act by discriminating against Hispanics. Two observers will be present to ensure the Saturday elections are conducted smoothly, said C. […]

Trib overview of the Pasadena elections

Good stuff. When voters head to the polls here Saturday, their city council and mayoral picks could have repercussions well beyond this working-class Houston suburb. It will be the first election since a federal judge struck down the city’s 2013 redistricting plan as discriminatory, paving the way for a new balance of power at City […]

Early voting Day Five: Can we make any guesses yet?

Mike Snyder wonders about the turnout so far in the May elections. When Pasadena last chose a mayor, in 2013, about 7 percent of its registered voters determined who would lead the industrial port city of 150,000. Mayor Johnny Isbell, who won re-election by an overwhelming margin, attributed the paltry turnout to public satisfaction with “the […]

Business groups endorse a Yes on recapture re-vote

It’s a very different campaign this time around. The Greater Houston Partnership and other local organizations whose members own some of the city’s priciest commercial real estate have come out in support of a ballot measure over whether the Houston Independent School District should pay its share of property taxes to the state as part […]

Early voting so far

The Chron looks at the first day of early voting and some area races. Early voting began Monday for local elections next month that will determine who leads increasingly diverse Pasadena, the fate of a major school bond referendum in League City and whether Houston’s largest school district pays tens of millions to the state […]

Endorsement watch: Project LIFT

The Texas Democratic Party has endorsed a slew of progressive candidates enrolled in their Project LIFT (Local Investment in the Future of Texas) program. There were five rounds of endorsements, beginning on March 10: Round 1 Round 2 Round 3 Round 4 Round 5 The endorsements cover races all over the state. I’m going to […]

Endorsement watch: Chron for Van Houte and recapture

Here are your Chronicle endorsements for the May election. First, for Mayor of Pasadena: Of the five candidates who met with the Chronicle editorial board – two declined – only Van Houte was willing to bluntly and accurately diagnose the challenges facing Harris County’s second-largest city. Legacies of favoritism, opacity and, yes, discrimination continue to […]

Early voting for May elections begins tomorrow

Tomorrow is the first day of the nine-day early voting period for the May 6 election. I’ve generally not paid a great deal of attention to these May elections, but it’s safe to say that This Time It’s Different, and not just because I myself have an election to vote in. The people who live […]

Re-interview with David Thompson

Last year, I published an interview with attorney David Thompson, who has worked with HISD for a long time on legislative and financial matters, including on the endless litigation over school finance, to discuss the November referendum on recapture. He clarified a lot of items, such as the wording of the referendum, the things that […]

Interview with Gloria Gallegos

I have one more interview for Pasadena Mayor to bring you. Gloria Gallegos is the Associate Superintendent of Special Programs for the Pasadena Independent School District, having worked her career in education beginning as an elementary school teacher. A native of Mexico, Gallegos earned an associate’s degree at San Jacinto College followed by a bachelor’s […]

Interview with Pat Van Houte

There’s a lot of interest in the May elections this year, driven in large part by a newfound level of engagement from progressives and other Trump opponents. Of the races in the Houston area, the most consequential is the Pasadena Mayoral election, where a group of candidates are vying to succeed term-limited Johnny Isbell. Pat […]

What HISD is saying about recapture

Here’s their official webpage. I think you’ll be able to discern their position. HISD voters will be asked on May 6 how the district should pay its Recapture obligation to the state of Texas: by Purchasing Attendance Credits or through Detachment of Commercial Property. Here’s the language that will appear on the ballot: “Authorizing the […]

Reintroducing recapture

The tune has changed, and it’s time we make sure everyone knows it. It felt like déjà vu to many of the 150 people who packed into Tinsley Elementary School’s auditorium Wednesday evening. Facing another controversial Houston ISD school finance referendum, speakers debated two unfavorable options, both of which will cost the school district millions […]