HOUSTON – It’s the end of an era.
Longtime Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack will not seek reelection, after serving Harris County Precinct 3 for eight terms. Now, the focus shifts to the future of that seat.
There’s a growing list of people running to replace him. So far, nine people have announced their candidacy for next year’s election. Six Democrats and three Republicans, including a few high profile names.
What’s at stake?
Right now, Harris County Commissioners Court is made up of two Republicans, one being Steve Radack, and two Democrats. Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo is a Democrat and votes as the tiebreaker.
If Democrats are successful in claiming the seat and flipping it, that would change the dynamics, potentially impacting key issues such as a future vote on the county’s tax rate. The two Republicans, Radack and Jack Cagle, blocked the court from raising it earlier this year.
Who’s got the better shot? Republicans or Democrats?
KPRC Political Analyst Ed Emmett, the former Harris County Judge, said, right now, it’s too early to tell what voters in Harris County will do come March 2020.
If you look back to 2016 and 2018, the trend was to vote more Democratic. What’s changed?
Emmett said we no longer have straight-ticket voting so both parties are going to have to get people to go all the way down the ballot and make a choice.
“It will be difficult. But that’s what nobody knows. We’ve had straight-ticket for so long that it was easy. The candidate that has the best chance of winning is someone who really understands what the county needs,” Emmett said.
That entails dealing with non-partisan issues, such as making sure law enforcement has the resources it needs to keep people safe and maintaining infrastructure, such as flood control measures.
“Whoever can focus and say we’re going to keep this community safe, I think they are going to have a big leg up. It’s going to be who the voters trust the most to make certain things happen,” Emmett said.
The Texas Republican and Democratic Primaries will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2020.