Ellis, Jackson Face Off In Primary For Harris County Commissioner Precinct 1

Bail bond reform and Harvey repairs are likely to be major issues in the primary contest between incumbent Commissioner Rodney Ellis and former felony court judge Maria T. Jackson.


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There's no Republican running for Harris County Commissioner Precinct 1, but the Democratic primary won't be a walk in the park for the incumbent commissioner. Commissioner Rodney Ellis is facing a primary challenge from former felony court judge Maria T. Jackson.

Former Harris County Judge Ed Emmett says Jackson poses a real threat to Ellis. "Maria Jackson is making the argument that, following Harvey, really nothing's been done in terms of houses repaired,” Emmett said. “I mean, that's been well reported that there've only been a handful of households that have gotten money. And whether it's the federal government that gets the blame or the state or the county, that's going to play an interesting dynamic in this race.”

Ellis has championed bail bond reform, which could be another issue in the race. Ellis supported proposals to make it simpler for indigent misdemeanor defendants to avoid having to await their trials jail simply because they could not afford bail. Jackson argues the reform package does not do enough to protect the victims of crimes.

Jackson's supporters include the family of Ellis's predecessor, the late El Franco Lee. In addition to being the incumbent, Ellis has one other major advantage: a campaign war chest of more than $2 million.

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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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