Because of the resignation of Diane Trautman as Harris County Clerk and the withdrawal from the November ballot of Andrea Duhon as the candidate of the Democratic Party for the office of Harris County Department of Education School Trustee, Position 7, At-large;
There are now two Democratic nominee vacancies on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot for the following races:
Harris County Clerk - Unexpired term, through 2022
HCDE Trustee, Position 7, At-Large - Full term
How does a Democratic nominee get chosen?
Under state law, precinct chairs from each political party nominate a candidate to appear on the November 3, 2020 General Election ballot.
The HCDP Precinct Chairs will vote at a County Executive Committee (CEC) meeting to be held virtually (conducted by computer, rather than in-person) on August 15, 2020, at 11:00 AM. The procedures for the virtual meeting will be approved at the CEC’s June 27th meeting.
Who is eligible to nominate at the CEC?
Only the “new” county executive committee, which will assume office on August 3, may nominate a candidate for County Clerk and HCDE Trustee at the August 15 CEC meeting.
The only precinct chairs who may nominate candidates at the August 15th CEC meeting are those chairs who timely filed an application for the office of precinct chair during Fall 2019 and were either:
Elected at the March 3 Primary
Elected at the July 14 Runoff
Filed and drew no opponent
To view a list of eligible precinct chairs, please click here.
How are nominations made?
Nominations to be the Democratic Party candidate on the November 3 General Election ballot must be made by Precinct chairs during the August 15 CEC meeting.
Persons seeking to be selected as the Democratic Party’s candidate cannot “self-nominate” themselves (unless they happen to be a precinct chair). There is no application or form a prospective candidate can file in advance of the meeting that will result in that person being considered to be a candidate for the office (or the nomination of the Democratic Party). Candidates can be voted on only if nominated by a precinct chair at the August meeting.
After precinct chair’s have nominated people’s names during the CEC meeting, there will be discussion, which might include an opportunity for nominees to address the precinct chairs.
The rules governing the discussion period, and limits on campaign speeches, will be determined by the Steering Committee and Chair of the HCDP in advance of the meeting and posted on the Party’s website.
What is the nomination process?
To become the nominee of the Harris County Democratic Party, an individual must be eligible to hold the office in question, and must receive a vote of a majority of the CEC members (precinct chairs) voting in the election.
If no candidate receives a majority vote, a runoff election will be held immediately between the two nominees receiving the largest number of votes in the first round of voting.
By state law, a majority of the CEC’s members must be in attendance during the meeting for a quorum to be established, so persons seeking the nomination should do everything possible to encourage all precinct chairs to participate in the meeting.
The CEC meeting will be publicly streamed, but only duly elected, then-serving precinct chairs may vote for the candidate(s) to become the nominee(s) of the Democratic Party on the November 3 General Election ballot.
By state law, proxy voting is not allowed at any CEC meeting.
The HCDP will have procedures in place to assure that the person who casts the ballots for a particular candidate is actually the duly elected precinct chairs personally voting, not some other person acting on behalf of the precinct chair.
Is there an interest form for the nomination?
It is requested, though not mandatory, that persons interested in being considered for nomination to either of these positions fill out an interest form to the Harris County Democratic Party below to be included in all communications or potential debates, forums, and events.
Precinct chairs will receive the interest form results ahead of the meeting by email and will be available to the public on the Party’s website.
Is there a filing fee?
There is no filing fee to be considered for selection as the Party’s candidate by the CEC or the state.
Do interested persons need to file a Campaign Treasurer?
While seeking the nomination of the county executive is generally not considered to be a public declaration of candidacy, anyone intending to raise or spend money seeking this nomination should file the Appointment of Campaign Treasurer form (CTA) with the appropriate filing authority.
What if I’m currently in public office?
Making a public inquiry to run for a new position might lead to consequences of resignation for persons who hold public office. Officeholders should make an independent determination of the applicability of those provisions on their situations prior to taking affirmative steps to seek the nomination.
What happens once a candidate wins the November 3, 2020 General Election?
For Harris County Clerk:
Unlike other positions on the ballot, the person elected Harris County Clerk at the November 3, 2020 election will assume office immediately upon completion of the official canvass (approximately November 13, 2020).
For HCDE School Trustee, Position 7, At-Large:
The candidate elected for HCDE School Trustee at the November 3, 2020 election will assume office January 1st, 2021.
Questions concerning this process can be addressed to DJ@harrisdemocrats.com or by calling 713-802-0085.