In what was widely expected to end up with a runoff as the result, Martha Castex-Tatum, 48, surprised many political observers this past Saturday, May 5, as she soundly defeated eight other opponents in her quest to fill the vacant seat left by the late Houston City Council Member Larry Green in District K, who died in March.
Castex-Tatum stunned her opponents, garnering roughly 60 percent (59.7% to be exact) of the overall vote, which included both Harris County and Fort Bend County.
Less than 6 percent of eligible Harris County voters came out to vote, while slightly less than 7 percent of eligible voters in Fort Bend cast their ballot in the special election. Castex-Tatum overwhelmingly carried Harris County, with over 65 percent of the vote. She also won Fort Bend County, but with only 36 percent of the overall vote.
Because Castex-Tatum reached the threshold of receiving over 50 percent of the overall vote, she was able to safely avoid a runoff as she won the special election in dominating fashion.
“I am so grateful to the residents of District K for their overwhelming vote of confidence,” Castex-Tatum tells the Forward Times. “Local elections are critical and I’m thankful to each resident that took the time to participate in the process. I am so honored to represent this amazing district!”
Castex-Tatum becomes only the second person elected to hold the District K seat since Green was elected to hold the newly created seat back in 2011. Castex-Tatum will serve the remainder of Green’s term, which ends at the end of 2019. She believes her past experiences, as well as her familiarity with the district were the primary reasons she received the overwhelming support of District K voters. Castex-Tatum believes those characteristics will be an added benefit to Houston City Council and makes her well-equipped to do the job effectively from day one.
“We wanted to win it all on Saturday, because I believe the people of District K deserve to have someone to represent them from day one,” Castex-Tatum continued. “Our staff will remain as is. There will eventually be an addition to the team to cover my previous constituent responsibilities in Fort Bend and Hiram Clarke. We will all continue to work hard every day for the residents of District K.”
District K, which serves from the edge of the Texas Medical Center to the portion of Houston within Fort Bend County, and includes three management districts – the Five Corners District, Stadium Park District, and the Brays Oaks District – as well as two school districts – Houston ISD and Fort Bend ISD and two Tax Increment Reinvestment Zones – TIRZ 9 & 25, will now be represented by Castex-Tatum, who has served as former Council Member Green’s Director of Constituent Services since 2015. Mayor Sylvester Turner attended the watch party celebration for Castex-Tatum and shared his thoughts on her election victory.
“The voters have spoken,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement. “Martha brings a unique perspective to the job after working as Green’s director of constituent services. I know he is smiling at the election results.”
Castex-Tatum states that her first priority will be to ensure each of the projects currently on the books are continuing to move forward.
“I want to ensure the residents affected by Hurricane Harvey are getting their immediate needs met and of course jump right in on the budget discussions,” said Castex-Tatum. “I am looking forward to building on the tremendous footprint laid by Council Member Larry Green. I am extremely optimistic about the future of District K.”
Speaking of her previous experience, Castex-Tatum brings a lot to the table.
After graduating from Texas State University, Castex-Tatum ran for public office and successfully defeated a 12-year City Council incumbent, to become the first African American woman to be elected to San Marcos City Council in the city’s history. During her tenure on the San Marcos City Council, she also served as Deputy Mayor Pro Tempore. Castex-Tatum also served on the San Marcos Economic Development Council and the Convention and Visitor Bureau. In 2004, Castex-Tatum returned to Houston and joined the bustling business community as a high-performing residential realtor with Keller Williams Realty, where she worked for 10 years. Castex-Tatum continued her real estate career with Berkshire Hathaway Home Services, where she currently assists new and existing residents with home sales and purchases and is consistently an award winning top producer. In addition to her career in real estate, Castex-Tatum has been a faithful and loyal public servant to District K residents since 2015, having worked with other District K staff members to address concerns of constituents while advocating for seniors, small business owners, extracurricular and after school activities for youth, economic development and beautification projects, among other issues. Castex-Tatum has represented the District K office monthly at the TIRZ 9 and 25 meetings as well as the Five Corners Management District meetings, and oversaw the progress of the new HPD police station in District K, the CASE after school grant process, the monthly Fort Bend and Hiram Clarke Bridging the Divide meetings, and numerous sidewalk, waterline and street repair projects throughout the district. Castex-Tatum is part of the Leadership Houston Class of XXXVI, and is also a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., where she has been active for over 27 years.
The Forward Times would like to congratulate Martha Castex-Tatum on her impressive win, as well as congratulate the other eight candidates who sought to serve the residents of District K, but came up short. Those candidates were, in the order they finished in the vote tally:
- Martha Castex-Tatum – 3,709 total votes
- Patricia “Pat” Frazier – 847 total votes
- Larry Blackmon – 629 total votes
- Carl David Evans – 428 total votes
- Gerry Vander-Lyn – 260 total votes
- Elisabeth E. Johnson – 120 total votes
- Lawrence J. McGaffie – 76 total votes
- Anthony Freddie – 74 total votes
- Aisha Savoy – 70 total votes