Local municipalities across the State of Texas held elections on May 7 and there were also two proposed Constitutional Amendments on the ballot statewide. In our area, elections were held in Sugar Land, Pearland, and Conroe as well as many other smaller cities and school districts. The HAR Political Affairs Committees conducted candidate interviews and recommended candidates in the Sugar Land, Pearland, and Conroe City Council races. Overall, four of the HAR Recommended Candidates were successful and were elected to their respective city council seats.
In Sugar Land, incumbent Mayor and HAR Recommended Candidate Joe Zimmerman was unopposed and re-elected to his fourth term. This will be Mayor Zimmerman’s final term as Mayor of Sugar Land due to term limits. In the race for City Council At-Large Position 1, HAR Recommended Candidate William Ferguson easily defeated challenger Larry Lobue after receiving more than 82% of the vote. HAR Recommended Candidate Jennifer Lane faced two challengers but was still able to get over the 50% threshold to avoid a runoff election and will be re-elected to the At-Large Position 2 seat on city council.
There were also three city council seats on the ballot in Pearland. First, in the race for Position 1, HAR Recommended Candidate and Incumbent Luke Orlando was unseated by Pearland business owner Joseph Koza after receiving just 45% of the vote. HAR did not have a recommendation in Position 5, but current Parks and Recreation Board Member Zach Boyer will face teacher Layni Cade, who has also served on the city’s parks board, in a runoff election after none of the initial four candidates received more than 50% of the votes. HAR Recommended Candidate and former Pearland ISD trustee Jeff Barry received 70% of the vote and was elected to Position 6.
In Conroe, HAR Recommended Candidate and local business owner John Hernandez finished second in the election for Conroe City Council Place 3 and will face current Lone Star Groundwater Conservation District President Harry Hardman in the upcoming runoff election for that seat. In the race for position 4, Incumbent and HAR Recommended Candidate Raymond McDonald was defeated by business owner Howard Wood. Incumbent Marsha Porter won re-election to Place 5 after just narrowly overcoming a challenge from REALTOR® and HAR Recommended Candidate Susan Johnson. The two candidates were separated by less than 50 votes.
There were also two proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot statewide. Proposition 1 passed easily with nearly 87% voting in favor of the amendment. Proposition 2, which was fully supported by Texas REALTORS® and HAR, will provide much-needed property tax relief to Texas homeowners by increasing the homestead exemption from $25,000 to $40,000. It also passed overwhelmingly with almost 85% of voters voting for the amendment. Statewide turnout was about 7.5%.
The local runoff elections in both Pearland and Conroe will be held on June 11 with early voting happening from May 31 through June 4 and again on June 6 and 7. For more details visit your county’s election website listed below or call HAR Political Affairs at (713) 629-1900 ext. 1287.
Harris County: www.harrisvotes.com
Fort Bend County: www.fortbendcountytx.gov
Montgomery County: https://elections.mctx.org/
Galveston County: www.galvestonvotes.org
Brazoria County: www.brazoriacountyclerktx.gov