Delayed Houston District B Race Riles Harris County Leaders

County Commissioner Rodney Ellis took issue with County Clerk Diane Trautman’s claims that she had no legal option other than to remove the contested race from the December runoff ballot.

Harris County Commissioners Court
Andrew Schneider/Houston Public Media
Harris County Commissioners Court


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The delayed election in Houston City Council District B is making waves at the county level. Harris County Commissioners Court held a hearing into the county clerk's decision to remove the contest from this month's runoff ballot, pending the outcome of a legal challenge.

The third-place finisher in the District B contest filed suit contesting the eligibility of candidate Cynthia Bailey, due to a felony conviction. County Clerk Diane Trautman said that, legally, she had no alternative but to act.

"Due to a legal challenge contesting the outcome of the Houston City Council District B race, the Office of the County Attorney advised me that the District B race could not be on the runoff ballot, per the Texas Election Code," Trautman said.

That wasn't good enough for Commissioner Rodney Ellis, among others, who took the position that the delay was disenfranchising District B voters.

"In my opinion, I think some serious mistakes were made," Ellis said. He questioned whether Trautman had the legal authority to pull the race from the ballot, even acting on legal advice.

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Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media's coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media's business reporter, covering the oil...

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