Early voting for the Houston city council runoff races starts Wednesday. Two years ago, this was the arena where Helena Brown managed to unseat her incumbent rival, and the upcoming runoff is pretty much a blast from the past when it comes to the District A seat.
The turnout for the runoff election is expected to be even smaller than the first round, which means those who actually show up to vote are going to have a huge (and "huge" in this parlance translates to "deciding") influence on who actually fills At-Large Positions 2 and 3 and the seats for A, D and I.
In the case of District A, current incumbent Brown is facing Brenda Stardig, the former incumbent.
Brown has been a controversial figure since landing her seat on the council, via an election runoff between her and Stardig, in 2011. A Tea Party favorite, she has some interesting political ties as we ran back in July 2012. In her time on the city council, she's become a big fan of the veto, even for things that have nothing to do with her district, and has made speeches on subjects like the United Nations plot to take over Houston development that have left her colleagues mystified.
Considering she actually won her seat the first time via a runoff election, odds are good that this will be a repeat performance, unless the hard-core folks who voted for Stardig and Mike Knox get together to do a little group voting. (Hair Balls doesn't advise holding your breath on that one.)
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Anyway, early voting runs from Wednesday to December 10. If you want to be one of the extra-rare people who actually votes in runoff election day pencil December 14 into your planner. Unless you don't have a planner anymore, in which case you can do whatever electronic thing people who don't use planners use these days.