What a Democrat super majority in Harris County could mean: 'More expansive government'

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Thursday, November 10, 2022
What a Democrat super majority in Harris County could mean
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Harris County Democrats now have a supermajority on the commissioner's court. In the video above, ABC13's Nick Natario explains how this may impact you.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- After touting unity as a key to reelection, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo took aim at members of her own party during her victory speech.

"Unity prevailed over division in this election," Hidalgo said in what started as a typical speech that turned into something else. "Bring it on."

Hidalgo didn't hold back as she stood with supporters hours after winning reelection. Some attacks were focused on her opponent's supporters, including Gallery Furniture's Jim McIngvale, also known as Mattress Mack.

SEE ALSO: Lina Hidalgo wins reelection bid for Harris County judge against Republican Alexandra Mealer

"Sure, she had almost $10 million in the bank, and a senator and furniture salesman," Hidalgo said. "You can't win them all. You can't win all the bets."

Hidalgo also took aim at people in her own party and appeared to target fellow Democrat, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg, who's challenged her several times at commissioners court over law enforcement funding.

"This person that's supposed to represent justice in this county, more than once said with a straight face, 'Stop the defunding,' knowing full well that the budget had increased," Hidalgo said.

County Democrats had a lot to be excited about Wednesday, and they now have a supermajority on the commissioners court after flipping a seat.

Rice University political science professor Mark Jones said this is significant.

"The only limit on Democrats on commissioners court will now be state law," Jones explained.

In order for there to be a vote on items such as a tax rate increase, four members must be present. Recently, two Republicans didn't show up. This left three Democratic members. Now, there are four Democrats.

"I think we will see a more expansive county government providing more social services and getting more and more involved in different aspects of people's lives, providing services in social welfare, housing assistance, flood control," Jones said.

Soon, there will be only one Republican on the court: Commissioner Tom Ramsey.

"I've been wanting to work with him since he took office," Hidalgo said. "I always welcome the ability for us to work together. I'm always proud our votes are five to zero."

Hidalgo says she wants unity, while, at the same time, calling out members from her own party that she says she won't forget not receiving their support.

ABC13 also reached out to Hidalgo's opponent, Alexandra Mealer, but she declined an interview. However, Mealer did tell us her campaign was about good government, and she's hopeful her role in the race will encourage that moving forward.

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