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Cohen looking at City Council

Former State Rep. Ellen Cohen is exploring a run for City Council in the updated District C.

“It has a real appeal to me,” added Cohen.

Potential candidates do not have to register until August at the earliest, though Cohen may act long before.

“I’ll know where I’m heading on this soon,” she said.

Cohen, 70, was head of the Houston Area Women’s Center for 18 years prior to her four-year stint in the Legislature.

“I can’t possibly see me not being as involved as I feel I can be,” said Cohen. “What I enjoy most about serving is constituent service. At the state level that means, if I’m involved in passing a bill, you might bump into someone who benefited from that bill, and you really feel good about it. If you take that to the local level, then you’re involved in things that someone mentions to you directly, and I love that.

“There’s that expression that when one door closes, another opens. I’m really excited about what I was able to do in the Legislature, and it’s exciting to think about bringing that home.”

Cohen, who has lived in Houston since 1977, has taken a preliminary, world-view of common issues facing the city.

“We’ll have to see what the next 11 months bring, but obviously the budget issues are critical,” said Cohen. “As with anything, whether you live in the city of Houston or the three cities I’ve been involved with (Bellaire, West University Place and Southside Place) people still want a strong infrastructure.

“You want strong police and security, and people still go to parks and breathe the air, and want a good environment.”

I spoke with her about this a few weeks ago, when she was first beginning to think about it. Clearly, she’s getting a good response to the trial balloon.

The story doesn’t say what Council office she might seek, but the logical choice would be the next version of District C. If so, the first obstacle for her would be redistricting. As I said before, what is now District C could get radically altered since there is no incumbent seeking re-election in it. If she’s unlucky, Cohen may not get drawn into the district she’d want to represent – as Greg notes, it’s conceivable she could get put into the same district as Oliver Pennington – and it’s already too late to move into it after the fact. We just won’t know for a few more months. I’m a fan of Cohen’s so I hope this all works out for her. We’ll see how it goes.

UPDATE: That didn’t take long.

[Cohen] filed Thursday for the District C seat up for grabs in November.

I wish her the best of luck.

UPDATE: For clarity, my understanding is that she has filed a designation of treasurer, which is the required first step. You cannot begin fundraising until February 1, and the official filing deadline is in August, with the filing period beginning (I believe) 60 days before that. In other words, it’s possible Cohen may wind up not running for anything. Nothing is final until August.

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7 Comments

  1. Mike says:

    Or she can just run against Sarah Davis in 2012. I think this election was a fluke. Dems are going to do much better in 2012 – the “tea party” will be long over by then, and 134 is a toss-up / leans-left district. With Obama on the ballot, I think a lot more Dems get out to the polls and Cohen wins easily.

  2. While I agree with your assessment of 2010, it will be fairly easy to redistrict HD134 into something redder. Swap some precincts in the Galleria/Memorial area for some in Montrose, and voila.

  3. JJMB says:

    This discussion probably won’t mean anything because there will be some changes made to HD 134, but I think Mike is off-base re. his point about President Obama’s effect in 2012. The last time he was on the ballot and “a lot more Dems [got] out to the polls”, who do you think won the Presidential race in HD 134?

    Hint: it wasn’t the President.

  4. No need to guess. McCain won HD134, though with only a plurality:

    http://www.tlc.state.tx.us/redist/pdf/house/red226_0850.pdf

    Other Republicans did several points better than he did. As I showed here, only Cohen, Michael Skelly, and Adrian Garcia carried HD134 for the Dems. It was actually more Democratic in 2006 than it was in 2008. That was the only HD in Harris County about which you could say that.

  5. Burt Levine says:

    August 8 is the first day to file for the city races. The deadline to file is September 7 and November 8 is election day,” he said.

  6. MeyerlandDem says:

    As a Jewish Democrat I think Houston has had enough Ellen Cohen. I want a new person to run that has not served in elected office before but has served the area in District C.

  7. […] District C in 2005, and for Controller in 2003. He’s reportedly looking at C again, but like Ellen Cohen will have to wait to see what the mapmakers produce. Robert Glaser ran against Clutterbuck in 2007 […]