Newsmakers for Dec. 2: Harris County Judge Ed Emmett on Election Day loss, future

HOUSTONStraight ticket was the critical factor

Harris County Judge Ed Emmett will step down at the end of the month, voted out of office on Nov. 6, and said much of the reason had to do with the straight-ticket voting that saw thousands more Democrats than Republicans going to the polls.

“The family was with me in the suite and I called them all together and I said, 'I’m looking at what’s happening around the state and we need to be prepared to lose because you just can’t overcome that straight ticket,'” Emmett said.

Emmett said newly elected County Judge Lina Hidalgo should be OK and hopes she will keep the county’s Homeland Security team intact because of the great job they have done through the years.

Emmett considering run for state office

Emmett was the highest vote-getter of everyone on the Harris County ballot, including the state office holders who were at the top of the ticket. That fact and his increasing concern about the tone of Republican Party politics has him eyeing the state level for his next possible run for office.

“Certain leaders of the Republican Party have just almost taken it off the cliff in the state of Texas,” he said. “And if we don’t get back to talking about the issues that are important to people in their daily lives then I think the Republican Party is just going to keep going down and I don’t want that.”

Historic flood bond and next job starts in January

Emmett said the passage of the more than $2 billion Harris County Flood bond in August may ultimately be his finest hour in office because of the number or people who will eventually be helped because of the overwhelming bipartisan support that got it through. He will watch its progress from his next position as a non-tenured professor at Rice University.

More about that position, his answer to the calls for him to run for Houston mayor and much more on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Harris County Judge Ed Emmett Sunday morning at 10:30 on KPRC, Channel 2.

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