By Charlotte Aguilar
Polls will open at 7 a.m. Monday (Nov. 17) for early voting in what could be a transformative election for both the city of Bellaire and the Houston ISD board.
Mayor Andrew Friedberg is running unopposed for his fourth two-year term in Bellaire, but fresh faces are guaranteed as no incumbents are running for the three Bellaire positions that make up half the votes on City Council. (The mayor is a seventh vote.)
On the nine-member HISD board, just the opposite is true. A majority of incumbent school board members — including the representative for Bellaire and West University — are running, with all five facing opposition in their bids for re-election.
When HISD and Bellaire last held elections, in 2019, voters clearly were in the mood for a change, turning out two incumbents on each body. The big “if” is whether that sentiment is still prevalent two years later.
EARLY VOTING INFORMATION
Early voting runs Monday through Friday, Oct. 29, from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. on Mondays through Saturdays, 12 noon-7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, with extended hours of 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 28. The date and locations of 24-hour early voting has yet to be announced but will be included on the Harris Votes site.
Registered voters can cast their ballot at any county location, both during the early voting period and on Election Day.
Nearby early locations include:
- Houston Community College West Loop Campus (including a drive-thru operation), 5601 West Loop South;
- Girl Scout headquarters, 3000 Southwest Freeway;
- Bayland Park Community Center, 6400 Bissonnet St.;
- Holiday Inn/NRG Med Center, 8111 Kirby Dr.;
- Texas Medical Center, John P. McGovern Building, 6550 Bertner Ave., second floor food court.
BELLAIRE MUNICIPAL ELECTION
With Friedberg running unopposed, the focus has largely been on council races. Candidates are Winfred “Win” Frazier and Kevin Newman for Position 1; Ross Gordon and Javier Vega, Position 3; and Andréa Ehlers, David Montalvo and Brian Witt for Position 5.
Their views were shared in our extensive candidates’ questionnaire, which first appeared in the September issue of Bellaire-West University Essentials magazine. You can also view a YouTube video of the nonpartisan candidates’ forum, held Oct. 12 at Faith Lutheran Church.
West University and Bellaire, along with parts of southwest Houston, make up HISD trustee District V, represented since 2017 by Sue Deigaard of Houston. She is opposed by Dr. Maria Benzon, an educator from Bellaire, and Caroline Walter of West University, who describes herself as “the mom next door.”
Biographical information and their responses to a questionnaire are accessible through the nonpartisan League of Women Voters guide to the election (which also includes information on eight state constitutional ballot measures).
The most comprehensive source of election information is Harris Votes, maintained by the Elections Division of the Harris County Clerk’s Office. You can download a sample ballot, find out polling places and hours closest to your home or workplace both for early voting and on Election Day, and learn procedures and requirements to vote. The county also publishes election returns on the site after polls close on Nov. 2.
Voters can cast their ballots 7 a.m.-7 p.m. at any polling place in Harris County.
Bellaire/West University area locations include:
Bellaire Civic Center, Pin Oak Middle School, Houston Community College West Loop, Faith Lutheran Church, Lovett Elementary School, West University City Hall, West University Elementary School, Southside Place Park Clubhouse, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Pershing Middle School, Lamar High School, Courtyard by Marriott West University (on Westpark Drive).