Houston Newsmakers for Nov. 11: Harris County judge upset

HOUSTON – She is 28 years old and a first timer in politics, but Lina Hidalgo has been elected as the next Harris County Judge.

Political experts say the straight-ticket voting was a big reason for that upset win, but Hidalgo says there was nothing accidental about it.

“We built an incredibly smart campaign team,” she said on Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall. “We did micro-targeting and we reached hundreds of thousands of voters, with our partners we knocked on tens of thousands of doors. We did the work. We presented our values and that’s why people voted. None of this was an accident.”

Hidalgo says she is surrounding herself with the best and smartest people she can find to prepare for what’s ahead and promises a transparency so that voters will feel that it is a county government “of the people.” 

Election Day Analysis: Money and research the key

Brandon Rottinghaus, Ph.D. is a Political Science professor at the University of Houston whose special interest is in Presidential and Texas politics.

That means he’s very busy these days on both fronts. Focusing on the County Judge race, he says the big surprise of the night was partly the result of Democratic party organization after their big losses in 2014.  

“The Democrats invested in finding people, mobilizing people and registering people and getting them out to vote so we saw the fruit of that on election night,” he said.

He does give straight-ticket voting credit for the sweep in of Democrat county judges but says the 7th Congressional District won by Lizzie Fletcher over incumbent Congressman John Culberson will be hotly contested for some time to come.

“Both parties are really going to struggle to try to keep it so that kind of energy needs to be kept up and to be honest this is exactly what the framers of the constitution wanted,” he said. “They wanted these districts to be fought over and they wanted people to really have a big say.”

Much more from Professor Rottinghaus on this week’s Houston Newsmakers.

Homeless youth the focus of Executive Sleep Out

For the seventh year on Nov. 15, dozens of Houston area executives will sleep outside at the Covenant House in Houston to raise money and call attention to the continuing need to help teens who are homeless in our community.

“We house approximately 90 to 95 youth every night on our campus and that’s turning youth away. There aren’t enough beds and that’s a growing problem,” said Leslie Bourne, the executive director of Covenant House Texas, based in Houston.

Much more from Bourne and Covenant House Texas Board Chair Mike Holland. For information about the Sleep Out go to this link.

Houston Newsmakers at 10:30 a.m. Sunday on KPRC2.

More information

Lina Hidalgo, Harris County Judge-Elect

  • www.LinaHidalgo.com
  • Phone: 713-802-0085
  • Twitter: @Lina4HC
  • Email: Harrisdemocrats@harrisdemocrats.org 

Brandon Rottinghaus, Ph.D., UH Political Science Professor

  • https://bit.ly/2OwYySQ 
  • Twitter: @UHouston
  • Email: brottinghaus@uh.edu 

Leslie Bourne, Executive Director Covenant House Texas

  • www.covenanthousetx.org
  • Phone: 713-523-2231
  • Twitter: @CovenantHouseTX

James “Mike” Holland, Board Chair, Covenant House Texas

  • www.covenanthousetx.org
  • Phone: 713-523-2231
  • Twitter: @CovenantHouseTX

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