This email contains one additional candidate, a February 2 candidate forum, and County Chair qualifications.
Another candidate Johnathan Miller has contacted me. So the list of candidates that I have is
I have been told that the HCDP office said that the special meeting to elect the County Chair will be Sunday, February 19. However there is nothing on the HCDP website calendar about it for that day.
- Tomaro Bell
- Robert Collier
- Dominique Davis
- Rony Escobar
- Eartha Jean Johnson
- Johnathan F. Miller
- Art Pronin (considering)
- Lillie Schechter
- Chris Spellmon
February 2 County Chair Candidate Forum
SD17 Chair Tom Gederbarg has scheduled a County Chair candidate forum for Thursday, February 2. Details will be available later this week.
County Chair Qualifications
Let me preface this by saying that per statutes (Title 9, Chapters 141 & 161, Sec. 141001 and 161.005) eligibility for public office, including County Chair, are
(1) be a United States citizen;
(2) be 18 years of age or older on the first day of the term to be filled at the election or on the date of appointment, as applicable;
(3) have not been determined by a final judgment of a court exercising probate jurisdiction to be:
(A) totally mentally incapacitated; or
(B) partially mentally incapacitated without the right to vote;
(4) have not been finally convicted of a felony from which the person has not been pardoned or otherwise released from the resulting disabilities;
(5) have resided continuously in the state for 12 months and in the territory from which the office is elected (Harris County) for six months immediately preceding the date the nomination is made.
Sec. 161.005 ELIGIBILITY FOR PARTY OFFICES GENERALLY. (a) To be eligible to be a candidate for or to serve as a county or precinct chair of a political party, a person must:
(1) be a qualified voter of the county; and
(2) except as provided by Subsection (c), not be a candidate for nomination or election to, or be the holder of, an elective office of the federal, state, or county government.
Texas Democratic Party Rules also specify
a. They are qualified voters (Required by Texas Election Code §161.005 (a)(1)) and voted in the most recent Democratic Primary, not including runoffs, or signed an oath of affiliation:
A Precinct Chair asked me to provide this email response from a former HCDP County Chair to a request for County Chair qualifications.
The position of Harris County Democratic Party Chair does not pay a salary nor any "benefits" of any kind. It is purely a volunteer position and there is no compensation (other than a minor stipend paid by the state at then end of a primary election for having run the primary election, which compensation has usually been turned over to the HCDP by the chair). In fact, because the chair must travel considerably to attend meetings of Democratic clubs throughout the county and numerous other functions and there is no reimbursement of expenses, it actually costs the chair to serve in that capacity.
As to filing, there is no application and there is no deadline to file to file a vacancy created by the resignation of the current chair. Rather, the candidates for chair must be nominated by a precinct chair at the county executive committee meeting where the chairs elect the new County Chair. There is an election for County Chair at the primary election each even numbered year, and candidates must file an application for a place on the ballot for that election, which application must be filed during the regular filing period (generally, early November to early December) in the immediately preceding year. There is no filing fee, but the application to run for chair at the primary election (as opposed to running to fill a vacancy created by a current chair's resignation) must be accompanied by a petition signed by 10% of the then-serving precinct chairs.
The position is quite varied in its responsibilities (everything from running the party's day-to-day administrative functions and operations, to fundraising, to running the primary elections, to coordinating its volunteers, to filing required state and federal reports, to running the party's general election campaign, to presiding over CEC meetings, to appearing publicly on behalf of the party, to recruiting and training candidates, to securing and overseeing training of election judges and precinct chairs, to attending meetings of Democratic clubs and organizations and various community organizations, to a variety of other things. It does require a very substantial amount of time.
I am going to refrain from endorsing anybody, because so many wonderful Democrats were so supportive of me while I was chair ,,,and I don't want to slight any of them by selecting one over the others (yet -- ultimately I will have to vote for someone). Besides, I do not want to give the impression that former leaders of the party are selecting their successors. I just don't think that is healthy for the ultimate objective of getting all Democrats to work together and feel they are all needed, appreciated, and valued.