By Charlotte Aguilar
Former Bellaire Mayor Cindy Siegel has become the second Republican to indicate she will seek her party’s nomination for U.S. Congress in 2020 in Texas District 7, which includes Bellaire and West University Place.
She put her intentions in writing Monday (April 8) when she resigned her seat on the METRO board of directors, where she had represented the so-called small cities’ interests on transit matters since 2012 and was serving as second vice-chair. She wrote that her resignation would take effect “immediately, since I am running for Congress.”
Siegel confirmed to Essentials on Tuesday that she’s laying the groundwork for her candidacy, although she said she was not ready to make an official announcement.
Siegel, 64, served two, four-year terms as Bellaire’s mayor, from 2004-12, before becoming term limited, and had served as a six-year city councilmember, planning commissioner and chair of the parks and recreation advisory board before that.
Her interest in politics was evident early. As Cynthia Thomas, a student at Kansas State University, she was elected the first female president of the student senate in 1976. In 1977, she faced four male opponents to become the university’s first female candidate for student body president, and lost a runoff by only 103 votes. The victor: Sam Brownback, who went on to serve in Congress, the U.S. Senate, and as Kansas governor before resigning to take a federal appointment last year.
In her years in public service in Bellaire, Siegel’s focus was on fiscal accountability, seniors’ issues, and parks acquisition and improvement — doggedly working behind the scenes to acquire the property and steer the development of what would become Evelyn’s Park and boosting the creation of the Patrons for Bellaire Parks support group.
An unabashed conservative and supporter of President Trump, she has been a leader in Houston-area Republican women’s organizations and serves as Senate District 17 chair of the Texas Federation of Republican Women.
Her term as mayor saw her at center stage for great highs, such as the 2008 Bellaire Centennial celebration, and unprecedented lows, including the deaths of 24 residents of a Bellaire seniors’ facility aboard a bus as they evacuated during the Hurricane Rita scare in 2005, and the national attention paid to the shooting of black resident Robbie Tolan by a Bellaire policeman in 2008.
Siegel is a certified public accountant and has had her own firm since 1991. In addition to her bachelor of science degree from KSU, she holds a master’s degree in business administration from the University of Houston. She and husband Bob, a partner at Deloitte financial consultants, have two grown daughters. Jennifer is a second-year law student at Southern Methodist University, and Lauren is completing both a bachelor’s and master’s degree at New York University.
She’s seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Lizzie Pannill Fletcher who defeated longtime GOP Congressman John Culberson in November 2018 and took office in January.
Wesley Hunt, 37, a St. John’s School, West Point and Cornell alumnus, declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Texas District 7 on April 2. Currently involved in mortgage lending with Perry Homes, he previously had a career in military leadership, including flying Apache helicopter combat missions in Iraq.