Houston mayoral candidates Gallegos, Kaplan talk their priorities

In exactly 197 days, the people of Houston will choose a new Mayor, and FOX 26 is committed to helping voters learn more about the candidates and their vision for the City's future.

This week we sat down with contenders Lee Kaplan and Houston City Council Member Robert Gallegos.

Crime control tops a core list of priorities for Kaplan, a well-regarded attorney who is convinced his status as a genuine political outsider and skill-set for solving complex problems present a leadership option well suited to restoring public safety.

"Number one is we need more officers. We have half as many officers per capita as Chicago and New York and we've got twice the square area," said Kaplan.

HOUSTON MAYOR CANDIDATES: You Decide - Houston's Mayor - List of candidates

Kaplan considers infrastructure neglect and inconsistent garbage collection as chronic problems voters want to be prioritized.

"It just seems to me there are things in the City that we can do better and if you are not beholden to anyone you are free to find out from people what they really care about and try and tackle those problems," said Kaplan.

Candidate Robert Gallegos enters the race for Mayor after serving a decade on City Council. In addition to crime control, Gallegos views the six-year contract labor impasse with Firefighters as a destructive dispute he's prepared to solve.

"As Mayor, I will be sitting down with the Union of HFD to negotiate, to see what we can do to find agreement to benefit the City and also the Firefighters. The firefighters have done an excellent job. They are out there and they deserve good pay and also the benefits," said Gallegos.

 Back in 2015 Gallegos was a vocal supporter of the proposed Houston Equal Rights Ordinance rejected at the ballot box.


Eight years later, candidate Gallegos says he would resurrect the effort if elected.

"I would like to, as the mayor, also work with the pastors and the ministers and have discussion as to exactly what's the purpose to have an equal rights amendment and then take it to the voters so they can vote on it, not just City Council," said Gallegos.

Fox 26 will be featuring extended interviews with Gallegos and Kaplan, along will all the principal mayoral candidates on the station's political affairs show "What's Your Point?" and on Fox 26Houston.com under the "You Decide" TAB.