HOUSTON - Drawing almost 54 percent of the vote over four opposing candidates, Mary Nan Huffman claimed a clear-cut victory in Tuesday's Special election to represent District G on Houston City Council.
"We need to increase our police presence," said Huffman. "We know that criminals go where the police aren't."
In the prosperous swathe of neighborhoods extending from the Galleria west through Memorial, the longtime prosecutor and police union attorney says voters want the current crime wave confronted and public safety assured.
"I think people are worried that our elected officials aren't doing the things that they need to do to keep us safe," said Huffman. "You know we have these repeat violent offenders out on multiple felony bonds being released again to go and commit another violent crime."
While Huffman's victory was largely expected it also left a glaring imbalance in place, that is in a city that is nearly half Hispanic, Latinos hold only one of 16 seats on the Houston Council.
With an eye to the 2023 City elections, Dr. Sergio Lira is both crusading for higher Hispanic turnout and recruiting the kind of Latino candidates capable of propelling it.
"Diversity only means I'm inviting you to my fiesta,'" said Lira. "Equity means, I’m inviting you to my table."
Lira says the goal is pretty simple - a fair share.
"Our culture has been one of getting along, being passive, being respectful," said Lira. "We are not a community of outspokenness, of being loud, of being bold, but there comes a time when we can no longer look away and that time has come."
According to the 2020 census, at least 45 percent of Houston's population is Hispanic with the single Latino vote on City Council amounting to just 6 percent of the decision-making power.
Meantime, Huffman is set to take the oath of office at City Hall next Wednesday.