Candidates hoping to secure a place on the November ballot to run for city office — mayor, city council or city controller — have until 5 p.m. Monday to turn in their filing applications at City Hall.

At least 57 people already had filed as of Sunday, according to a list on the city’s website. Several candidates reportedly submitted paperwork on Friday, but the website had not been updated to reflect that. One of those was U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, one of the frontrunners in the mayoral race, whose campaign said she filed Friday afternoon.

Eleven candidates so far are listed for this year’s mayor’s race:

  • Jack Christie
  • Robert Gallegos
  • Gilbert Garcia
  • Naoufal Houjami
  • B. Ivy
  • Lee Kaplan
  • M.J. Khan
  • David C. Lowy
  • Julian Bemer Martinez
  • Chanel Mbala
  • John Whitmire

Two candidates, former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins and City Councilmember Dave Martin, have filed to run for controller, the city’s elected financial watchdog.

Forty-four Houstonians, including nine incumbents, will be on the ballot for seats on city council.

And while that list is sure to grow before the day ends, two names that have swirled around the election – Tony Buzbee and Derrick Broze — currently are not included. 

Buzbee, a lawyer who lost a 2019 mayoral runoff to incumbent Sylvester Turner, has floated the possibility of another run for months. 

He teased a possible run on his Instagram account last week, sharing a former campaign photo with the caption: “The filing deadline for municipal elections is 5pm Monday, August 21st. How is parking at midday on a Monday around City Hall?”

Broze, a lesser-known candidate who also ran for mayor in 2019, said his filing application was denied by the city because of a nonviolent felony drug conviction in 2005. 

“It’s exhausting,” Broze said. “It’s frustrating.” 

Broze received a letter denying his application on July 26. The letter states that because Broze had not received judicial clemency, an executive pardon, or a restoration of rights under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedures, he was unable to run for mayor.

Since his conviction, Broze said, he has completed his prison sentence, paid his fees and completed parole. 

“I got arrested when I was 20 years old after dealing with a drug addiction for about two years,” Broze said. “(I) changed my life, turned things around … and to have something like this — the mistakes of my youth — coming back to haunt me, it’s exhausting.”

Broze has continued to present himself as a candidate for mayor, participating in a forum about homelessness last Thursday night.

According to letter from the city, the decision to deny Broze a spot on the ballot is based on a 2021 change in state law.

Broze on Friday issued a statement calling on the city to allow him to run in this year’s election, signed by five other mayoral candidates and one former at-large city councilmember:

  • Jack Christie
  • Robert Gallegos
  • Gilbert Garcia
  • Naoufal Houjami
  • Robin Williams
  • Sue Lovell

Since his application’s denial, Broze said he has been working with a lawyer to determine the best course of action. Filing a lawsuit, while not out of the question, would not help him get on the ballot in time for this election, he said. 

Applying for clemency or an official pardon from the state also are lengthy processes that would not help Broze get on the ballot, which is his biggest priority at the moment.

Mary Benton, director of communications for Mayor Sylvester Turner, said Sunday that the city attorney’s office is reviewing a complaint Broze filed.

Election day is Nov. 7. Early voting begins Oct. 23.

Staff writer Monroe Trombly contributed to this report.

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Tim Carlin is the Houston Landing's civic engagement reporter. An Ohio native, Tim comes to Houston after spending a year in Greenville, South Carolina, covering Greenville County government for The Greenville...