Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo will seek re-election for a 3rd term, Houston Chronicle reports

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Thursday, May 30, 2024
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HARRIS COUNTY, Texas (KTRK) -- Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said she will be seeking to keep her seat for a third term, according to ABC13's news partners at the Houston Chronicle.

Hidalgo told the Chronicle during a live virtual event that she is "really excited" to run for re-election in 2026.

Former Houston Mayor and fellow Democrat Annise Parker is also reportedly weighing a move to run for County Judge.

In 2018, Hidalgo shocked many political observers in Houston when she secured an upset victory over GOP incumbent Ed Emmett, winning her first term in office.

She has used the post to broaden the scope of county government into new areas, such as early childcare access and affordable housing.

In November 2022, Hidalgo won a second term as Harris County judge against Republican challenger Alexandra del Moral Mealer after a hard-fought campaign to lead the country's third-most populous county.

Mealer, an Army veteran and energy finance advisor, hammered Hidalgo on several issues throughout the campaign, especially on crime.

The final year of Hidalgo's first term as county judge was marred by controversy.

In April 2021, three of Judge Hidalgo's staffers were indicted as part of an investigation into how Elevate Strategies, a one-woman firm with little experience, was awarded a now-canceled $11 million COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract.

In October 2022, Hidalgo was unable to pass a new county tax rate when two Republican county commissioners blocked the vote by repeatedly skipping Commissioners Court.

Hidalgo didn't escape controversy throughout her second term.

According to court records filed related to the so-called bid-rigging scandal of 2021, the Texas Rangers began an investigation in November 2023 into tampering and misuse of official information within Hidalgo's office.

Eyewitness News is gathering facts on this breaking news story. Watch ABC13 newscasts throughout the afternoon for live updates.

READ MORE: After nearly four months in office, Mayor John Whitmire hasn't met with county Judge Lina Hidalgo