When Sheila Jackson Lee recently joined the Houston Mayor’s race, speculation was rampant about how her entrance into the race could upend the prospects of fellow candidates like Senator John Whitmire, former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins and former Houston City Councilmember Amanda Edwards.
This morning, the first domino officially fell when Hollins announced he would seek the City Controller’s office instead. Hollins, an attorney known as a bit of a policy wonk while he led the Clerk’s office on an interim basis in 2020, seeks to succeed current Controller Chris Brown as Houston’s chief financial officer.
For now, that leaves Jackson Lee, Whitmire, Edwards, Councilmember Robert Gallegos, and Houston business leader Gilbert Garcia as the prominent announced candidates in the race, with a decided advantage for Jackson Lee and Whitmire, longtime lawmakers with impressive fundraising ability and name identification.
Could more candidates head for the exits? How will Jackson Lee’s presence on the campaign trail impact Whitmire, who drew the ire of progressives this week when he canceled a hearing on gun violence in the Texas Senate at the request of Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick.
And what is there for candidates in Houston to learn from recent big city mayoral contests in New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, where crime was a significant issue and moderate candidates posed strong challenges. Only one, New York City Mayor Eric Adams, ultimately prevailed, with progressives Karen Bass and Brandon Johnson winning in Los Angeles and Chicago respectively.
Joe brings over a decade of experience as a political operative and creative strategist to Texas Signal, where he serves as our Senior Advisor and does everything from writing a regular column, Musings, to mentoring our staff and freelancers. Joe was campaign manager for Lina Hidalgo's historic 2018 victory for Harris County Judge and is a passionate sneakerhead.