By Charlotte Aguilar
Voters can start casting their ballots Monday (Nov. 29) for candidates in two key races to be decided in a Dec. 11 runoff — one for a swing seat on Bellaire City Council and the other to determine who represents West University, Bellaire and southwest Houston on the Houston ISD board of trustees.
Early voting runs through Dec. 7, with polls open from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday.
In Bellaire, independent Andréa Ehlers is squaring off against Brian Witt for City Council Position 5, in a contest that will decide the majority on council.
Ehlers, who outpolled Witt by eight votes in the general election, 1,824-1,816, would join three council members elected two years ago who have questioned the direction of Mayor Andrew Friedberg and city management over matters of development vs. Bellaire’s residential focus, the city’s debt load, and how infrastructure projects have been managed.
Witt is part of a three-member slate — two gaining seats in the Nov. 2 election — who were endorsed by the mayor to shore up his support on council.
Ehlers has been endorsed by David Montalvo, the third candidate in the Position 5 race, who drew 102 votes on Election Day.
The HISD District V runoff pits one-term incumbent Sue Deigaard against GOP-backed challenger Caroline Walter of West University. Deigaard, a resident of southwest Houston, is one of four sitting trustees on the nine-member board in runoffs against conservative candidates with vocal backing from anti-vaccination, anti-masking factions.
Deigaard drew 7,841 votes or 49.35 percent, shy of the 50 percent-plus-one-vote needed for outright election, with Walter drawing 5,779 votes, or 36.38 percent.
The third candidate on the Nov. 2 ballot, educator Maria Benzon, has endorsed Deigaard for the position. She attracted 2,267 votes, or 14.27 percent.
Early voting will take place at nine sites throughout Harris County, with the only nearby location at Houston Community College West Loop campus, 5601 West Loop South, Room C108. Hours are from 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 12 noon-7 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 5.
Runoff Election Day is Dec. 11, and additional polling places in and near Bellaire and West University are expected to be open.
For a sample ballot, hours and locations and voting procedures for both early and runoff day voting, visit HarrisVotes.com.