Houston lawyer Tony Buzbee went live on Instagram Monday as he filed to run for the District G city council seat, one of several last-day candidates to make it official.
Buzbee, who attempted to oust Mayor Sylvester Turner in a 2019 runoff, had teased the possibility of a run for city office last week on the same social media account, noting Monday’s deadline to get on the November ballot and musing about parking around City Hall during the day.
In signing up to run, Buzbee is challenging incumbent Councilmember Mary Nan Huffman, who is seeking a second term.
On his Instagram account, Buzbee said he wants to improve the quality of life for all in Houston and “want to serve in a capacity where I can be most helpful.
“The last mayoral election was eye opening and humbling for me. I learned a lot about our city, its problems, some solutions and the great people who live here.”
He cited crime reduction as one of his top priorities.
According to the city, 78 candidates are set to appear on the November ballot, including 17 seeking the mayor’s office.
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The long list of candidates who have filed for other positions in City Hall made it clear voters will have many choices to make ahead of the Nov. 7 election. Along with contested races for all five at-large council seats, there will also be a race to become the new city controller, often considered a stepping stone to higher office.
State Sen. John Whitmire, D-Houston, and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, D-Houston, are the early frontrunners among at least a dozen candidates running for mayor, according to public opinion polls. Several other candidates have reported raising over $1 million or have a previous history of serving in elected office, giving them a potential path to breaking out.
In addition to Jackson Lee and Whitmire, the mayoral candidates were Gaylon S. Caldwell, Jack Christie, Robert Gallegos, Annie “Mama” Garcia, Gilbert Garcia, M. “Griff” Griffin, Naoufal Houjami, B. Ivy, Lee Kaplan, M.J. Khan, David C. Lowy, Julian Bemer Martinez, Chanel Mbala, Kathy Lee Tatum and Roy Vasquez.
Another potential mayoral candidate, writer and activist Derrick Broze, says the city rejected his application for a spot on the ballot because of a nonviolent felony drug conviction in 2005. He is contesting the city’s decision.
The mayor’s race will be top-of-mind for many voters as they head to the polls. They also will be faced with choices for city controller and most of the council districts.
District E Council member and Mayor Pro-Tem Dave Martin is facing off against former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, Deputy City Controller Shannan Nobles and former city councilman and Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez to serve as city controller. Incumbent Chris Brown is term-limited.
All five at-large council seats also will see some competition. Former Houston ISD school board member Kendall Baker, Eriq Glenn, Melanie Miles, Julian Ramirez, Conchita Reyes and Leah Wolfthal are running for at-large position #1. Sitting member Mike Knox, who cannot run again because of term limits, has thrown his cowboy hat into the Harris County sheriff’s race.
In at-large position #2, the candidates are Danielle Keys Bess, Marina Angelica Coryat, Willie Davis, Nick Hellyar, Obioha “Obes” Nwabara and former HISD trustee Holly Flynn Vilaseca. They’re vying to replace David Robinson, who is term-limited.
Richard Cantu, Twila Carter, Donnell Cooper, former KTRK meteorologist Casey Curry, Ethan Michelle Ganz, James Joseph, Ericka McCrutcheon and Richard Nguyen all hope to replace term-limited Council Member Michael Kubosh in at-large position #3.
Two incumbent at-large council members have drawn opponents.
At-large Council Member Letitia Plummer, who serves in position #4, is facing John Branch Jr., Roy Morales and Andrew “Drew” Patterson.
Sallie Alcorn, the at-large #5 council member, is being challenged by J. Brad Batteau and Rigo Hernandez.
With a showman’s flourish, Buzbee took to social media to livestream himself as he filed papers in City Hall to run against incumbent District G City Council Member Nan Huffman. Enyinna O. Isiguzo also is running for the post.
It is a much less prominent position than mayor, which Buzbee spent millions of dollars trying and failing to win in 2019. The race means that Buzbee will have a busy fall: He’s also scheduled to represent state Attorney General Ken Paxton at his September impeachment trial.
The following candidates qualified for the other council districts:
District A: Incumbent Amy Peck
District B: Alma Banks-Brown, incumbent Tarsha Jackson, Kendra London, Koffey Smith El-Bey and Tyrone Willis
District C: Perata PB Bradley, Felix Javier Cisneros and incumbent Abbie Kamin
District D: Incumbent Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, Lloyd Ford, Travis McGee, Georgia Provost and Debra Rose
District E: Martina Lemond Dixon and Fred Flickinger
District F: Incumbent Tiffany Thomas
District H: Mario Castillo, Mark McGee, Cynthia Reyes Revilla, Sonia Rivera and Michelle Stearns
District I: Rick Gonzales and Joaquin Martinez
District J: Incumbent Edward Pollard and Ivan Sanchez
District K: Incumbent Martha Castex Tatum
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to include the latest filers and reflects all of the candidates who will appear on the November ballot, according to the city.