Once again, Kingwood delivered and Harris County took notice. The turnout in the reliably red Houston suburb could be called an election tsunami.
The unofficial total count for early voting at the Kingwood Community Center was 26,764. Only one other early voting location, in Cypress, garnered more votes, according to the Harris County Clerk’s office.
The surge in voting in the Kingwood area was so remarkable that even the Houston Chronicle made a comment in a Nov. 5 election story about voting by precinct.
“The biggest surge in turnout came from deep-red Kingwood, where a contiguous block of 15 precincts hit a whopping 87% turnout, producing a third more votes than they did four years ago, despite adding fewer registered voters than the typical precincts in fast-growing Harris County,” the Chronicle’s reporters wrote.
And two of the biggest luminaries in Texaspolitics, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw and Texas State Rep. Dan Huberty, easily coasted to victory thanks to those same reliable Kingwood and LakeHouston-areavoters.
In the Texas Congressional District 2 race, Republican Crenshaw bested Democrat SimaLadjevardian56.1% to 42.3%.Also, on the ticket was Libertarian ElliottScheirman, who collected 1.5% of the total vote in the unofficial results.
“When Dan Crenshaw was first elected to Congress, he promised to work across the aisle to get things done for the people of the 2nd District. That is exactly what he has done,” Communications Director JasonDiscigilsaid. “Congressman Crenshaw has passed more bills than any other freshman in theminorityand is one of the most bipartisan members of the Texas Congressional delegation according to Georgetown University. Crenshaw has passed bipartisan legislation to provide flooding relief to Houston, combat the scourge of human trafficking, and bringcommon sensesolutions to reduce emissions and combat climate change while protecting Texas energy jobs.
“Movingforward, Congressman Crenshaw will continue to prioritize lowering prescription drug costs, expanding access to personalized health care, advancing American energy innovation, and improving flood preparedness in Houston,” Discigiladded. “These are Crenshaw’s priorities because they are Houston’s priorities, and he will continue to reach across the aisle to build on the progress he made for this community during his first term.”
In the Texas District 127 race, Republican Huberty earned 71.1% of the vote. Libertarian NekoAntonioureceived 28.8% of the vote. Huberty did not have a Democratic opponent.
"I am grateful to have earned the support of the constituents of HD 127 and am honored to return to Austin to represent them in the 87th Session,” Hubertysaid. “These unprecedented times have highlighted some unintended issues with the transformational school finance legislation we passed last session and I plan to address these as soon as possible. Similarly, I will continue to fight for the Lake Houston community and the ongoing dredging program we so badly need."
Crenshaw, a former Navy SEAL and one of the best-known House freshmen during his first term, begins his second term in January. He has been particularly involved in delivering federal funding for dredging and mitigating future flooding. He even secured federal funding for Kingwood High School’s new floodgates and rebuilding Huffman ISD’s flood-damaged athletic fields.
Huberty, formerly an Humble ISD trustee and now a seasoned Austin lawmaker, was chair of the House Committee on Public Education last session. He steered the successful 2019 school finance reform package through the legislature and secured a state grant to continue dredging the San Jacinto River and Lake Houston.
One more election in Humble
While Election 2020 is over for most of Lake Houston, City of Humble residents have one more vote to cast.
Because none of the candidates earned the required 50% plus one majority, the top two candidates, Arliss Bentley and Paula Settle, will participate in a runoff election Saturday, Dec. 12, according to Humble City Secretary Jenny Page.
At press time, early voting dates and times were not available. Dates and times will be posted on the city website, cityofhumble.com/city-elections.
Bentley was the top vote, getting 42.7% while Settle was second with 29.8%. Bruce Davidson was third with 27.4% and is out of the running.
The Humble City election originally was scheduled for May 2, but Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued a proclamation in response to the COVID-19 pandemic allowing the city election to be moved to Nov. 3.
Arliss Bentley is a 45-year resident of Humble with a master’s degree in education. She taught elementary through high school students for more than 40 years and taught and trained alternative certification-teaching candidates with Region IV for seven years.
If elected, her top three priorities are to enhance city services and improve infrastructure, propose ordinances to require new construction to have at least 20% or more green space to preserve and enhance natural vegetation, and revitalize historic downtown Humble with the city and citizens by attracting shopping and eating establishments that visitors and residents will want to support.
Paula Settle has lived in Humble since 1967. A graduate of Humble High School Class of 1969, she has two adult daughters and three granddaughters. She joined her father, Howell Bethune, in 1974 at Humble Machine Works, overseeing the daily operations of her father’s company.
If elected, her top three priorities are adequate police and fire protection for the safety for the citizens of Humble, addressing and fixing the drainage problems that most Humble residents currently experience, and beautifying Humble by adding more flora and replacing trees that were lost due to growth.
Two unopposed candidates in the Humble City Council election, Norman Funderburk, incumbent for City Council Place 3, and David Ray Pierce, incumbent for City Council Place 5, were declared winners, according to Page. They were sworn in before the May 14 city council meeting.
“Having the largest number of voter turnout ever for a City of Humble candidate election is so exciting and can fortify the thought that our town is a free and open society for all, no matter how many people vote,” Pierce said. “I’m honored to have the support of our citizens and look forward to my continued to service to the city I love.”
“It is my honor and privilege to serve my community for another term,” Funderburk said. “I take my role seriously and I am committed to continue efforts, along with our mayor and council, to have a positive impact and make a difference. I look forward to serving and representing our residents, working to keep the city a community we are proud of and proud to be from.”
Funderburk’s focus during his next term centers on quality of life, safety and security, fiscal responsibility, and sustainability by proactively planning for the city’s future.