Will Houston Mayor Annise Parker Run for Office Again?

Mayor Parker’s term ends this year. So what will she do next? Parker has held her cards close, but recently gave some clues that she might be interested in running for another office.

Houston Mayor Annise Parker


Last week on NPR’s Here and Now, Houston Mayor Annise Parker had this to say about her future:

“I hope I have the opportunity to continue to serve, but it would have to be the right race. Right now I’m the CEO of a $5 billion corporation and I make things happen every day. So it would have to be an administrative or executive position where I could make a difference,” said Parker.

Parker went on to add that she’s considering a state or county position, but is not interested in running for Congress.

Rice University Political Scientist Mark Jones says his ears perked up when she mentioned a county race.

Jones says Parker has almost no chance of winning a statewide election, but she’s a very strong candidate for Harris County Judge. Current Judge Ed Emmett told reporters earlier this year he hasn’t decided yet whether he’ll seek reelection.

“And that’s a race that a Democrat could very well win, because while there’s a slight Republican advantage, it’s slight. And with a strong, quality candidate like Mayor Parker, a Democrat could very easily be the next judge of Harris County,” said Jones, who chairs the Political Science Department at Rice University.

But if Emmett does decide to run again, Jones says that would be a very difficult race for Parker to win.

University of Houston Political Science Professor Richard Murray agrees that Parker could be signaling interest in the county judge seat, but he adds there’s one more option.

“If there’s a Hillary Clinton administration in 2017, the former mayor of Houston may well be considered for an executive appointment. That’s a realistic prospect. Obviously, if Republicans win, there’s virtually no chance,” said Murray.

Either way, Parker will have to wait a year or two if she wants to re-enter the public sector. She leaves office in January of 2016, but a federal appointment couldn’t happen until 2017 and the race for county judge won’t get underway until 2018.


Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Executive Producer for News

Laurie Johnson leads daily news coverage for HPM. She helps reporters craft and sharpen their stories on tight deadlines, with the aim of getting the most relevant and current information into local newscasts. Laurie is a native Houstonian who started her career at Houston Public Media in 2002. She is...

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