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Endorsement watch: The one man term limits debate

Here’s one of the more interesting endorsements so far.

Commissioner Steve Radack

Commissioner Steve Radack

Steve Radack is at once an argument for and against term limits.

The Precinct 3 county commissioner and former Precinct 5 constable, who will turn 67 before Election Day, has been in his seat for 28 years and wants voters to sign him up for 32. Radack’s decades of experience have made him a fount of knowledge about his sprawling west Harris County precinct and all the flooding, traffic and budgetary issues that face the 1 million-plus people who live in the mix of cities and unincorporated county. He’s earned the trust of constituents and is well positioned within the political system, allowing him to break the usual partisan bonds that unfortunately restrain other elected officials.

[…]

However, when it comes to passion or new ideas for his sprawling precinct and the county as a whole, the longtime incumbent lacks the excitement and innovation of a bright-eyed upstart trying to impress the public.

When asked about how the county should handle continuing growth in unincorporated regions, Radack’s only major recommendation was allowing the county to assess a sales tax.

Constable and Justice of the Peace precinct lines haven’t been updated in decades, but Radack opposed equalizing their populations because it would disrupt the sitting politicians.

And Radack didn’t exactly show his connection with homeowners’ immediate needs when he spent time during a public meeting on flooding to lament insurance fraud. In a particularly poor choice of words, he said that some people “enjoy floods.”

His concerns may be technically correct, but that’s not what people need to hear after they’ve lost their homes. It isn’t the sort of mistake that a newly elected commissioner would make while still trying to win over the constituency.

I’m often amused by the lack of interest in term limits for County Commissioners, given how much power they wield compared to every non-Mayoral elected official in Houston. Doing such a thing would require a constitutional amendment, so the procedural reticence is understandable, though you’d still think someone would mention it once in awhile. As it happens, there’s been some turnover on the Court recently, though for non-electoral reasons in two of the three cases. Radack is a strong favorite to win his eighth term, though perhaps his recent comments about flooding will dog him. At least he’ll always have this Chron endorsement.

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One Comment

  1. The fact that it took him 20+ years to support some form of universal healthcare is hilarious.