HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- As Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo prepares to enter her second term, she talked about her priorities and addressed allegations tied to the election that got her re-elected.
'NONSENSE': WITH INVESTIGATIONS AND LAWSUITS MOUNTING, JUDGE LINA HIDALGO CALLS THEM NOTHING BUT POLITICS
Hidalgo admits there were problems with last week's election. She's said she is not happy with the long lines or that some polling places didn't open on time. But she insists nothing illegal took place, and she says this is nothing but politicians pushing conspiracy theories.
ABC13 learned this week at commissioners' court the elections administrator doesn't know how bad last week was yet.
Clifford Tatum, the Harris County Election Administrator, couldn't give a specific number of polling places that experienced issues because they still need to talk to election judges.
Tatum did, however, acknowledge that some places didn't open on time, many ran out of paper, and they needed a way of verifying if technicians went to polling places and fixed machines.
The issues prompted Texas Governor Greg Abbott to call for investigations.
He said the allegations of improprieties could result in wrongdoing to blatant criminal conduct. Abbot did not provide any specific allegations.
On Wednesday, we learned the Harris County DA, Kim Ogg, asked the Texas Rangers to get involved with the election investigation, which Hidalgo addressed on Thursday.
"It's no surprise that all of this happens in the largest county in Texas when clearly the folks that are peddling this clearly didn't like the outcome of elections in this county," Hidalgo said.
Harris County is last in the state to finish counting. The elections administrator said they should finish by Thursday.
He also said they plan to release a report detailing the issues from Election Day but provided no timeline for it. When asked how many polling places had issues, he didn't want to give out a high number, only having to reduce it when they learned the full extent of what happened.
THESE ARE THE FIVE PRIORITIES FOR HIDALGO'S SECOND-TERM
Judge Hidalgo listed five items she wants to work on in his second term. Many of them are priorities carried over from her first four years.
Crime is at the top. Hidalgo said she wants to continue to crack down on gun violence and put deputies in high-crime areas. Hidalgo also wants to tackle crime by going after nuisance areas.
The second is early childhood education. This is something that started in her first term. Since she came into office, the county has spent $68 million on early childhood education. Hidalgo said she wants to expand programs and give parents more options in areas with little or no early childcare options. Although she gave no specifics, Hidalgo also wants to address mental health. She wants to bring different providers together across the county and work on ways to address this problem.
The next is flooding. Voters just approved an additional $400 million for projects. Hidalgo says it's not enough. She is hoping to grasp what they need to do soon. "Part of the work that we're going to continue doing over the coming months and years is identifying exactly how much more of an investment we need to make our county truly flood resilient," Hidalgo explained.
Today's final priority Hidalgo listed impacts the region's largest employer: energy. Hidalgo said she wants to become the alternative energy capital of the world.
She wants the county to switch to all renewable energy and is looking into electric vehicles. This week, the commissioners' court approved the purchase of 30 electric vehicles by the sheriff's office and other county agencies.