At least 7 Houston candidates running this November might not live in the city, Chron reports

Erica Simon Image
Wednesday, September 20, 2023
Do city hall candidates live in Houston, does that matter to voters?
According to our partners at the Houston Chronicle, seven of the candidates running for Houston mayor or councilmember positions have a questionable address.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- With the November elections right around the corner, Houston-area candidates are under the microscope more than ever.

According to our partners at the Houston Chronicle, there's a question over whether at least seven Houston City Hall candidates actually live in the Bayou City, but it may be more of a gray area than you think.

Our partners found that of the dozens of candidates running for mayor of Houston or councilmember positions, at least seven candidates have questionable addresses. Obviously, there's paperwork that has to be filled out when you file to run, but some were linked to properties and homes in suburbs, or in one case, not an actual home at all, but a warehouse.

Mayoral candidates Robin Williams, MJ Khan, and Robert Ivy, along with council candidates Conchita Reyes, Willie Ray Davis, Donnell Cooper, and city controller candidate Shannan Nobles, were all listed in the article.

Mark Jones, a political professor at Rice University, says Texas state law provides a loophole for candidates and where they actually lay their heads.

"You really just need a physical location. An address in Houston where you can say that is your home, and then you can register to vote with that as your address. If you do that, it doesn't really matter if you actually physically live at that residence or not. If you say you intend to live there and in your mind that's your residence, then the courts have said, 'that's enough,'" Jones said.

Mayoral candidate Williams said the following about The Chron article and the two properties listed in her paperwork:

"The information in The Chronicle was misinformation used for clickbait. I signed documents to protect my information as a law enforcement officer and veteran, and that was clearly leaked. It's common knowledge that I own a home and rent a home, and feel I meet all the guidelines to run for Mayor."

When ABC13 asked Jones if voters really care about this kind of thing - whether a candidate lives in city limits or a suburb, he said he believes yes because the average voter wants to feel like someone relates to their problems in their actual city.

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