This past Saturday marked the conclusion of one of the most complicated and rare processes of a select number of Democratic precinct chairs hand-picking an individual to appear as the nominee on the November ballot that began as part of the vacancy left on Harris County Commissioner’s court by the late El Franco Lee, who died of a fatal heart attack in January.
In a contest that was closer than the previous two, Houston attorney and former Democratic judicial candidate Shawn Thierry edged out Harris County Board of Education Trustee Erica Lee Carter by two votes.
The contest was closer than that at the end of the first round of voting, in that only 24 of the qualified 27 Harris County Democratic Precinct Chairs showed up to vote on the person who would replace State Rep. Borris Miles on the November ballot to represent the constituents in District 146. District 146 is predominantly African American and covers the areas of Houston south of the Medical Center and has a large number of neighborhoods located south and southwest of the 610 Loop. Last month, precinct chairs selected Miles to fill Sen. Rodney Ellis’s seat, who had to step away from his Democratic re-election bid for Senate District 13 after being selected several weeks prior to Miles’ selection to replace El Franco Lee on the November ballot for Harris County Precinct One Commissioner.
After giving their final pitches, voting commenced and Carter, who is the daughter of U.S. Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), found herself with 11 votes, one shy of Thierry, who had received 12 votes. Larry Blackmon, who ran for Houston City Council and has previously run several times for Fort Bend County Commissioner, received one vote.
Because no candidate had received the necessary 13 votes, a second round of voting began and the lone Blackmon voter immediately switched his support to Thierry, providing her with a 13-11 victory in her favor.
Because there will be no Republican challenger in the general election, Thierry, the Texas Southern University alum and selected Democratic nominee for District 146, will be practically assured of victory in November.
There has been much chatter that this extremely complicated process of selecting a replacement nominee may find its way on the legislative agenda in Austin during the next legislative session. The Forward Times will keep you posted on any new developments.