10 candidates vying for Houston council at-large 2 seat

November 6, 2011 8:16:27 PM PST
Election Day is still more than a week away, but voters are already casting early ballots for several key races across Houston, and we're introducing you to the candidates in the competitive race for one council at-large seat.

The At-Large 2 position is the only citywide elected council position with no incumbent in the race. That means it could be anyone's game and just about everyone, it seems, wants a shot.

In a city of such diversity, an open City Council seat draws candidates from every corner. There's the experienced politician, Kristi Thibaut. She's a former state representative.

"I want to make sure we put more cops on the streets, I want to make sure that we reduce our rape kits, our load, so we can get criminals off the streets, and I want to encourage community policing as well," Thibaut said.

A candidate with the political lineage, Bolivar "Bo" Fraga's dad Felix, is a former city council member.

"The fact that he feels like he set a good example for me, that raised me well, that he's very supportive, that he feels confident in me and how he and my brother raised me and the values that they taught me," Fraga said.

And the perennial candidate, Andrew Burks Jr., has run for city office a number of times.

"I have the most desire and sincerity in running for this position," Burks Jr. said.

In all, there are 10 candidates vying for just one open seat.

With so many candidates, the challenge isn't so much to get their message out, it's simply to get noticed at all.

"I'm out to knocking on doors, I'm making phone calls, and I'm out here at the polls," At Large 2 candidate Jenifer Rene Pool said.

Pool hopes her political organization will make a difference, while David Robinson's counting on his years as a community activist for some name recognition.

"I've been a public official as a planning commissioner, as an airport commissioner and previously as a municipal arts commissioner," Robinson said.

Then there's the candidate that's more known for his signs than anything else. Eric Dick has been unapologetic for his campaign style.

Also on the ballot are accountant Elizabeth Perez, Realtor Gordon Goss, Roslyn Shorter, and perennial candidate Griff Griffin, making this race to the run-offs is anyone's game.

"This is a scramble. With so many candidates, very difficult to predict how a race like this would go; it'll probably turn on a difference of a dozen or 50 or 100 votes," KTRK political analyst Dr. Richard Murray said.

Dr. Murray says just a few dozen votes could separate the candidates who get into the the run-off and who don't. The top two vote getters will face off in the run-off election this December.

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