Both are middle-aged white men. Both have long-time affiliations and connections with their respective parties. And both admit winning the November election will be challenging.
Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says the primary was a wake-up call for the Republican party.
“The Republican Party fully understands that this is not going to be business as usual. We’re going to have to get back to grass roots organizing and put the party mechanism into place that will carry us in the fall.”
Democratic challenger David Mincberg says he thinks voters are ready for a change at the county level.
“They’re tired of the ethics issues that are going on at the county. They’re tired of deals made in back rooms. And they’re tired of officials who are resigning in disgrace. And with the change in the leadership at the county, we will put an end to that.”
Mincberg is counting a clear victory in the Democratic primary. But the election is far from over. Now he has to prove that his credentials as a leader in the business community qualify him to lead Harris County’s government.
“I think that there’s an interesting array of issues that range from flooding and flood control to environmental and quality of life and we’re going to be talking about all of those items throughout the campaign.”
Incumbent Ed Emmett says he’s already proven himself in the job. He was appointed to fill the position about a year ago, after it was vacated by Robert Eckels. Emmett says he thinks mobility is the most pressing issue in the region.
“That’s what really gripes people on a daily basis. And when we talk about mobility we’re not just talking about building roads. We have to get commuter rail under way. We have to make sure that METRO is doing what it needs to be doing, but we cooperate. We have to make sure all the counties around us are working together. And it has to be a regional approach and I think we’re doing that.”
Emmett and Mincberg both say the excitement and enthusiasm over the national election helped focus more attention on local races. And each candidate is hoping that momentum will carry him through to victory in November.
Laurie Johnson. Houston Public Radio News.