Former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins reveals his next move

Gina Gaston Image
Thursday, November 26, 2020
What's next for Harris Co. clerk Chris Hollins?
Follow along as we take you into the world of Chris Hollins and his family following his transformational job as Harris County clerk during one of the biggest elections in history.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Chris Hollins is enjoying spending more time at home now with his wife Morgan, his 3-year-old daughter Vivian and newborn son, George.

He's also back at work as head of his law firm now that his interim job as Harris County Clerk is over after six months. He has many indelible memories from the transformational job he did under the glare of the national spotlight, including a family outing to a polling site.

"I think, at least for me, the coolest thing for me with Vivian was taking her and George with us when we voted," he said in an interview with Eyewitness News from his home. "Wheeler Avenue is right over here and we're members there. On the last day of early voting we, you know, took them."

At home in Houston's historic Third Ward neighborhood, Chris and Morgan are the definition of a rising power couple.

Both of them are lawyers. Morgan graduated from the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Law, while Chris attended Morehouse College for undergrad, then earned a joint Harvard-Yale Juris Doctorate/MBA.

Morgan admits she knew her husband was a hardworking man with big dreams, but politics is an adventure she's still adapting to.

"I wouldn't say politics is my calling," Morgan said. "But I am trying to grow with him and learn more about it and just become more interested in it. I don't think of it so much as politics, and the more I get involved and the more I see what he does. I really do see it as civic engagement and trying to make your community a better place."

Chris grew up in Missouri City.

His dad, George, served more than 34 years in the Houston Police Department.

His mom, Christie, was a working mom while raising not just their three biological children, but also 25 foster children. Service may be a family hallmark, but politics was Chris' passion alone.

"Chris, from a very young age, has always said that he wanted to actually be the one going into politics," said Christie. "It wasn't something we talked about at the family dinner table."

The proud parents said friends going back as far as elementary school have reached out to them to congratulate them on their son's changes which netted a record-setting turnout for Harris County voters.

Like many, George believes Chris has reshaped our understanding of how important a county clerk can be.

"Chris worked for a management consulting firm, one of the largest in the nation, and he did a phenomenal job. He took those skills and brought it to that job," said George. "All of the innovation that he came up with was just ... I was just flabbergasted, and proud as I could be."

Christie echoed that sentiment saying her son seems to always be at the right place, at the right time.

"He has favor. It's hard to believe that some of the things are like laid out for him. His timing is perfect," she said.

Chris was shocked by the legal challenges to his voter reform initiatives, which he said he drafted after speaking with officials, from both parties, all over the country.

Many of the reforms, including the drive-in voting, had been done before in other communities, but after visiting all of the Harris County polling locations, he found how much it meant to people to be able to vote safely and conveniently.

"There was a nurse who literally broke down in tears," Chris said. "She had been working 12- to 14-hour shifts since February, and she found out that not only was there a voting center right there at Texas Medical Center, but that it was going to remain open overnight. So there's one more thing that she didn't have to worry about in her life."

He said stories like that coupled with the backlash against some of his initiatives have shown him where his talents are needed now.

"I will be spending some time in Austin as the legislature comes back in January. I'll be spending time in D.C.," Chris said, "When our Congress comes together next year, I want to make sure that a new voting rights act is coming together to make sure that we are making common sense and bipartisan changes that will make voting easier. Serving as county clerk has certainly been the honor of my lifetime. I enjoyed public service, I could certainly see myself being a public servant again, but for now, I'm focused on my family and I'm focused on my law practice."

His parents, however, expect we'll see their son get elected into office one day, once again, at the center of a big political race.

"He's going to take on something bigger and better, and he's going to do a great job at whatever he does," said Christie.

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