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Adrian is in

Speculation time is over.

Adrian Garcia

Adrian Garcia

Ending months of speculation, Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia has declared his candidacy for mayor of Houston Wednesday.

Garcia, whose strong name recognition and deep law enforcement experience make him a likely frontrunner, will make his formal announcement at 2 p.m. at the Lindale Park Civic Association, in north Houston.

His campaign website, www.adriangarcia.com already is live.

He joins a crowded field seeking to replace term-limited Mayor Annise Parker. In doing so, he must resign as sheriff, leaving open one of the two county-wide offices currently held by a Democrat. Harris County Commissioners Court will meet next Tuesday to discuss appointing his successor.

County Judge Ed Emmett, who received Garcia’s resignation letter Wednesday, has not decided who he wants to replace Garcia, though he prefers someone who wants to run for office in 2016, said Emmett’s spokesman Joe Stinebaker.

Noting that it would be beneficial for Garcia’s replacement to have a combination of law enforcement and management experience, Stinebaker added that “speed is of some importance here.”

State Rep. Allen Fletcher and Constable Ron Hickman were the first two potential replacement candidates mentioned for Sheriff. We’ll see if they’re still at the top of the list when everyone else who wants in makes their wishes known. If either of them gets appointed, they themselves will have to be replaced as well, via special election for Fletcher or another Commissioners Court appointment for Hickman. Further, rumor has it that at least a couple of current Democratic Constables have been eyeing the Sheriff’s race sans Garcia, so even more dominoes are likely to fall. The 2016 election just got a whole lot busier in Harris County.

As for the Mayor’s race, I plan to be one of those annoying “undecided” voters, at least until one of the candidates distinguishes himself by talking about something other than pensions and potholes. I ran into Laura Spanjian at the City Hall farmer’s market last week and said only half-jokingly to her that I would vote for the first candidate to say something about the One Bin proposal. I feel like we’ve had a steady diet of junk food so far in this election, and I’m starving for some meat and vegetables. Maybe Garcia’s entry will be a sign that we’re finally going to get to something substantial in this campaign, and maybe we’ll just get more of the same with a side dish of attack ads. I’m ready to move on to the next phase, whatever it is.

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6 Comments

  1. […] in the race,” but he has been critical of him in the past. Charles Kuffner of Off the Kuff notes that, “Garcia’s entry will be a sign that we’re finally going to get to something […]

  2. Tory says:

    I’m not sure how you get more substantive than confronting the pension issue which could bankrupt the city. Or the increasing cost of the police dept with a lowering clearance rate. What are the burning big issues you’d like to see addressed?

  3. Tory, of course those issues are important, but they’ve already received a ton of coverage. You can see http://offthekuff.com/wp/?s=mayoral+manifesto if you want to know what in particular I want to hear talked about, but the bottom line is that there are things going on right now – the bill in the Legislature to regulate Uber and Lyft, the ongoing One Bin RFP process, TxDOT’s plans for I-45, to name three – that will have a significant impact on the city that no one is talking about. That’s my point, and the basis of my statement.

  4. Steven Houston says:

    Tory, city pensions amount to under 10% of the total city budget. Suggesting they alone “could bankrupt the city” that spends tens of millions of dollars on window dressing, frills, and various lower priorities seems more than a stretch, it sounds like a politician’s lie. Elected city officials have chosen to continually under fund pensions for years while claiming the yearly budget was balanced. That the city has also deferred a lot of routine maintenance, infrastructure work, and accumulated over ten Billion dollars in non-pension debt also factors in but even if pensions are an easy political target, there is no legal way to stop providing them (federal law as the city opted out of Social Security).

  5. Steven Houston says:

    Tory, city pensions amount to under 10% of the total city budget. Suggesting they alone “could bankrupt the city” that spends tens of millions of dollars on window dressing, frills, and various lower priorities seems more than a stretch, it sounds like a politician’s lie. Elected city officials have chosen to continually under fund pensions for years while claiming the yearly budget was balanced. That the city has also deferred a lot of routine maintenance, infrastructure work, and accumulated over ten Billion dollars in non-pension debt also factors in but even if pensions are an easy political target, there is no legal way to stop providing them (federal law as the city opted out of Social Security).

  6. Manuel Barrera says:

    Agree with Houston as to the pensions, and every thing else he mentioned.