The runoff election between Republican Joan Huffman and Democrat Chris Bell takes place tomorrow, Dec. 16. The two candidates were the top vote-getters in the Nov. 4 special election to fill the seat of Kyle Janek, who resigned earlier this year.
Bell, a Braes Heights resident, is an attorney with Patton Boggs, a law firm registered to lobby in Washington, D.C. Bell served on the Houston City Council from 1997 until 2002, when he was elected to Congress. He lost his seat in 2004, following the controversial Republican-led redistricting. In 2006 he unsuccessfully ran for governor of Texas.
Bell says he is stressing the same issues he stressed during his run for governor – public school education, ethics reform and access to healthcare.
Huffman, a Louisiana native, came to Houston after graduating from Louisiana State University. She began her career as a secretary in the Harris County District Attorney’s office, then began going to law school at night. Once she passed the bar, she was hired by the DA’s office as a prosecutor, where she spent 14 years. She spent time in the gang division, narcotics division and organized crime division, among others. She resigned in 1997 to have her son, while also setting her sights on the bench. She spent 1998 campaigning, was elected, and took office on 1999 as a 183rd District Court judge, where she served for two terms as a Republican. In 2005 she resigned to focus on her son’s education.
For Huffman, illegal immigration and the public school system are top priorities. Huffman supports accountability and performance rewards for teachers, but would like to know more about where the money for education is spent. Huffman would also like to see public schools expand their programs for children with learning differences, such as dyslexia.
For polling locations by precinct, visit http://www.harrisvotes.com/, click voting information and choose polling locations in the pull-down menu. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.