With the March Primary just over the horizon, Democratic candidates have one more opportunity to make decisions about your democracy, community and future. The Acres Home Chamber for Business and Economic Development Inc. and African-American News&Issues is sponsoring a political forum on Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Beulah Ann Shepherd building at 6112 Wheatley Street in Houston.
The forum will feature special opening words from State Representative Sylvester Turner, Chairman of the Texas Legislative Black Caucus.
One of the hottest contested races is in State Senate District 15 where incumbent State Senator John Whitmire is facing challenger Attorney Damian La Croix. Senator John Whitmire represents the 15th Senatorial District comprised of north Houston and parts of Harris County. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives. With over 30 years of service in the Texas Senate, Senator Whitmire ranks first in seniority and is the “Dean of the Texas Senate”.
Whitmire serves as Chair of the Senate Criminal Justice Committee and works to bring about needed changes to the adult and juvenile criminal justice systems. He is also a member of the Senate Administration Committee and the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. In addition, he serves as a member of the Senate Finance Committee where he is committed to finding appropriate solutions for funding the state’s many agencies and programs. Whitmire has been a big proponent of education and rehabilitation and fixing the criminal justice system.
His opponent, Damian La Croix is challenging Whitmire calling for new look at leadership and is stressing the need for quality education starts at an early age and may be the key to lifting people out of poverty and keeping our kids out of the criminal justice system. He is stressing a 21st Century education stressing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) as a central part of our educational system.
Attorney Kim Ogg, is running in the Democratic primary for Harris County District Attorney against Attorney Lloyd Wayne Oliver. Ogg is running on the platform of making justice work for all citizens of Harris County.
She is former prosecutor, anti-gang investigator and crime prevention leader. After serving as the city’s anti-gang task force director in 1994, she became the executive director of Crime Stoppers of Houston in 1999. She left the organization in 2006 to purse a private legal practice and has been representing crime victims and police officers and served as a defense attorney. Other important races involve judges and courts. These races are important because they could determine the direction of criminal justice, platforms, issues and how cases are looked at involving those who appear in those courts.
Candidates in those races include District candidates running for in Democratic Primary races for District Judge, 113th Judicial District where Lory C. Gray is pitted against Steven Kirkland; District Judge, 246th Judicial District where Julia Maldonado is taking on Sandra Peake; District Judge 280th Judicial District where Allecia Lindsey Pottinger and Barbara Stadler are suaring off; Family District Judge, 308th Judicial District where Jim Evans and Bruce Steffler are running; Judge, County Criminal Court at Law No. 10 with George Barnstone and John Connolly are vying for a spot; and the County Clerk’s race that features Gayle Young Mitchell and Ann Harris Bennett.
Candidates will be given time to share information about their backgrounds and plans for public office and community vision for the future. The public will also be given the opportunity to ask questions of candidates during the question and answer session.
For more information contact Darwin Campbell at African-American News&Issues at 713-692-1892.