After a three-day hiatus, the Chron gets back on the endorsement track by recommending Cindy Vara-Leija for Constable in Precinct 1.
We believe Cindy Vara-Leija, who retired last October from a 32-year career in law enforcement, is the strongest candidate to clean up the mess in Precinct 1.
Vara-Leija’s lengthy experience in the mental health division also recommends her candidacy. She observes, perceptively: “As a sergeant [supervising the serving of] mental warrants, you have to really care. You have to understand that we’re not arresting them, we’re transporting them to a safe place where they can get care.”
Among other changes, Vara-Leija would pursue opportunities to cross-train with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department and the Houston Police Department in the mental health area.
We believe Vara-Leija has the experience and leadership ability to begin removing the stain from the Constable Precinct 1 office and move it into a more transparent and service-oriented future.
My interview with Vara-Leija is here; I interviewed her and the three other candidates who filed during the initial period: Grady Castleberry, Alan Rosen, and Quincy Whitaker. This race has been quite visible – I see many signs for Vara-Leija and Rosen around, with scattered signs for other candidates, and I have received mail from Vara-Leija, Rosen, and Castleberry. I expect the runoff to be a bruising fight.
As we know, Precinct 1 was the only Constable race in which the Chron planned to endorse, so they can now cross that off their list. Still to go: Every Congressional primary except CD36; all three SBOE races; SDs 04 and 11; every State House race except HD137; all of the HCDE races. Election Day is Tuesday. Good luck with that.