Noriega faces two challengers for At-Large 3 seat in quest for re-election

November 4, 2011 2:19:39 PM PDT
It's your voice and your vote. Several spots are up for grabs on the Houston City Council this election. And in the At-Large 3 seat race, you may recognize some familiar faces.

One is the incumbent, another has run before and the third is making his first foray into politics. At-large positions represent the entire city. It's a delicate balancing act that all three want.

With just five days to go until election day, the candidates for the Houston City Council At Large-3 position are out and about as much as possible. The incumbent, Melissa Noriega, hopes to solidify a third and final term. The former educator is the current chair of the public safety committee, which was tasked with tackling alleged racism and sexism within the fire department and the HPD beating caught on tape.

"We have had a series of hearings talking about excessive force with the police and some of the diversity issues with the fire department and I'm very proud how much progress they've made," Noriega said.

Noriega has been called a consensus builder, but one challenger has less flattering words.

"I'm not saying we need an attack dog, but we cant afford to have a lap dog, someone who always goes along with the mayor," At-Large 3 candidate Chris Carmona said.

Carmona is an attorney who calls himself a fiscal conservative. Though approved by voters last year, he is still a critic of Rebuild Houston, the controversial initiative to improve the city's street and drainage infrastructure by assessing a fee.

"We don't need additional tax on people to get drainage done when it's a core service," he said.

Noriega is an advocate.

"We are very committed to making sure that Rebuild Houston is done correctly," she said.

And then there's J. Brad Batteau. He has run for an at-large position before. He says he's the man to represent the whole city. He hasn't raised any money or posted many signs but did address his robbery conviction 30 years ago.

"It shouldn't matter because what I'm going to do for the people doesn't have anything to do with my past back in 1987. I was a teenager ... I'm now 42," he said.

It's important to note that Batteau didn't know Rebuild Houston is when we asked him.

Meanwhile, KTRK political analyst Dr. Richard Murray says incumbents are in great shape on Tuesday, unless there's a great wave of anti-incumbent sentiment.

Noriega does have the most name recognition as well as money.

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