I was writing a long candidate update for the weekend on Friday that’s pretty much junk now, but not every election is affected by the SCOTUS stay ruling. One such election is for Harris County Tax Assessor, where on Friday Houston City Council Member Mike Sullivan officially filed to take on Don Sumners in the GOP primary. This is going to be a fun one to watch, from my perspective at least.
Sumners questioned Sullivan’s integrity for filing for another office within a month of winning reelection to his current seat.
“He’s known since maybe last summer he was going to run for this and went on and ran for city council anyway,” Sumners said. “So now they’re going to have to have a special election and it’ll probably cost a half-million dollars or something — if he wins. Of course I’m going to do my best to make sure he doesn’t. It just doesn’t sit right with me, and a know a lot of other Republican voters that it doesn’t sit right with either.”
Sullivan said that view shows how “uninformed” Sumners is about the process. Having consulted with the city attorney about the matter, Sullivan said if he wins the primary he would announce his intention to resign in late July, allowing an election for his successor to be held in November, when everyone is going to the polls anyway. He would then step down in January 2013.
“We’re not going to run a campaign comparing the two of us. It’s going to be a very positive, issues-based campaign — we think there are issues to talk about,” Sullivan said. “I have a history both in the private sector and at city council of strong customer service. The tax office is in a customer-service business, selling license plates, renewing auto titles, registering voters. Those are things we can do very well and we think we can make a great impact on those particular departments within the tax office.”
Sumners said he, well, does plan to compare himself to his opponent.
“My phrase that I’m going to be using is, ‘Don Sumners is everything his opponent isn’t.’ Education, experience, competency, all those things. It’ll be hard hitting from the get-go,” Sumners said.
Bring on the Battle of the Grumpy Old Men! You can see Sullivan’s announcement here. His interest in the job has been known for some time, and he starts out with a decent amount of cash on hand. Given how this race has begun, I’m looking forward to the candidate forum. Ann Harris Bennett, who ran for County Clerk in 2010, has filed as a Democrat and is so far the only candidate on that side.