Early voting in Texas municipal elections starts three weeks from today. Arguably the most important race on the ballot for Houston voters after the mayor’s race is the one for city controller. The post is often described as the city’s chief financial officer, but most voters appear set to base their decisions about whom they want for the job on name recognition and partisan leanings rather than on perceptions of financial or accounting expertise.
The candidates and their positions
On a recent Thursday, residents of Houston’s Fifth Ward gathered at the Carl Walker Jr. Multi-Purpose Center to hear from candidates running for city controller, as well as for city council member for District B. Three of the four candidates running for controller sat behind a table at the front of the room.
Chris Hollins spoke first. A consultant with a Harvard MBA, Hollins’ highest profile financial office came with his work as vice chair of finance for the Texas Democratic Party. But he stressed the experience for which he was best known locally, when he stepped in as interim Harris County clerk after the elected clerk, Diane Trautman, resigned due to health concerns.
“I am a son of this city,” Hollins said, “and it was the honor of my lifetime to serve as your county clerk, your chief elections officer, during the most important election of our lifetime, the presidential election of 2020.”