Houston Newsmakers: Race for Harris County Judge reaches dead heat, and more

Also: Former DA putting spotlight on mental health for former incarcerated

Poll from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston shows close race in race for Harris County Judge (KPRC)

She is the incumbent, but if an early poll is an accurate indication, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will have a fight on her hands to stay in office.

The Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston released a poll that shows the race in a virtual dead heat with Judge Hidalgo holding a one percentage point lead over political newcomer Alexandra del Moral Mealer.

“When you get to results that close, for instance, Hidalgo is up by one percent with likely voters,” said Mark Jones, Ph.D., Political Science Fellow at the Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University and who also is a partner in the Hobby School findings.

“But if we go to the most likely voters it flips and Del Moral Mealer is up by a little bit. When you get results like that, all you can say is it’s too close to call,” he said.

Mark Jones, Ph.D., Political Science Fellow, Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston (KPRC)

Close race ahead for Harris County Judge?

Upon closer analysis, the poll shows where each candidate’s strengths and weaknesses may be especially as the poll is looked at along racial lines.

“What we have with White voters by a two to one margin support del Moral Mealer, whereas with Black voters by a five to one margin they support Hidalgo.” Jones said.

White voters favor Del Moral Mealer by a wide margin (KPRC)
Black voters favor Judge Hidalgo (KPRC)

“Latino voters are split down the middle with Del Moral Mealer having a slight advantage but once you put in the margin of error it’s pretty much a tie there,” said Jones.

See in depth analysis of the poll for Harris County Judge and what the statewide poll indicates in the race for Governor on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall.

Latino voters slightly favor Del Moral Mealer (KPRC)
Devon Anderson, CEO & President, Justice Forward (KPRC)

Former Harris County DA fights for formerly incarcerated

Former Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has a new mission in life.

After years as a prosecutor, judge, and DA, she now is the CEO and President of Justice Forward, a nonprofit whose mission is to break the cycle of incarceration.

She is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers and says the mental health issues of the incarcerated need to be solved in order for them to make progress and that jail is not the answer.

“These are diseases that need to be dealt with and if they’re not then the problem will continue,” said Anderson. “You can’t jail your way out of the addiction of mental illness.”

See her full interview and find out how you can help with the Justice Forward mission.

Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall Every Sunday at 10 a.m. right after Meet the Press.

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