It's a race between two men who seemed to have almost followed each other throughout their careers to City Hall, over to Texas Southern University and now both are eyeing HCC's District 4 seat. But they will both tell you it's experience that sets them apart.
Both Carroll Robinson and Jew Don Boney are angling for District 4 in the HCC system. One trustee was recently censured for a conflict of interest in awarding a service contract.
"If you work for a company and you are a trustee, that company shouldn't do business with the district. If a family member owns a company, they shouldn't be allowed to do business with the district," said Robinson.
"Certainly, there have been questions in regard to contracts being awarded in not an ethical or competitive way. The idea of no bid contracts is somewhat of an anathema to that," Boney said.
Both men also served as city council embers -- Robinson in at large 5E from 1997 to 2003. Boney in District D from 1995 to 2001. Both candidates also now work at TSU. They also want the HCC system to better train students for the type of highly skilled jobs the city thrives on.
And that is where their likenesses end. Robinson is a professor, while Boney, whose father was the second president at HCC, is an activist and director at the Mickey Leland Center.
"The real significant difference is the educational experience. This is really not a political job; it's an educational job and I'm a college professor and more importantly I've been an administrator," Robinson said.
"We have consistently supported the first African-American mayor Lee Brown, who is a supporter of my campaign. We supported the first African-American city controller Ron Green. My opponent did not. So he's very often than not, not been consistent with the leadership of our community," said Boney.
Early voting began Monday.