Candidates named for Sugar Land,
Missouri City, Meadows Place & Stafford
By Elsa Maxey
For the May 14 election, candidates are about to focus on their campaigns now that the filing deadline has passed. In less than two months the election for the new leaders will be held and those eligible in Fort Bend County not registered to vote have until April 14 in order to do so in May. Early voting dates have been set for May 2-10. Following is the candidate rundown for the cities of Sugar Land, Missouri City, Meadows Place and Stafford:
Four single-member district city council positions will be on the ballot and nine candidates filed for office.
Don Smithers, 74, the incumbent for District One, is seeking reelection. He lists his current occupation as a consultant. Smithers has lived in Sugar Land since 1976, and is seeking a second term since his election to city council in 2009. He previously served as a Sugar Land councilmember from 1997 to 2003.
Diana Marie Miller, 55, is running for the District One council position against Smithers. She is a realtor. Almost 27 years in the city of Sugar Land, this is Miller’s first bid for city council.
Bridget Yeung, 56, is running unopposed for the city council District Two position occupied by Don Olson who will not seek reelection. Yeung, who is a financial advisor, has lived in Sugar Land for over 23 years. She has not served the city in an elected capacity, however, she is the chairman of its Planning and Zoning Commission.
Am y Lynn Mitchell, 50, is seeking the District Three council position being vacated by Russell Jones, who will be at the end of his term limit. Mitchell, a state licensed attorney and law firm partner, has lived in Sugar Land for almost 18 years. This is her first bid for the city council position.
William James Hoelker, 51, is also seeking the District Three council position. A CEO of an organization, Hoelker has lived in Sugar Land for over 27 years and is seeking an elected office with the city for the first time.
Howard Tek Paul, 55, is running f or the District Three council position against two candidates. An engineering consultant, Paul has lived in Sugar Land for 21 years. This is his first bid for office on city council.
Hari sh C. Jajoo, 56, seeks the District Four council position to be vacated by Michael Schiff, who will be at the end of his term limit. Jajoo has two opponents. Jajoo is an engineer and has lived in Sugar Land for 25 years. Although not an elected official with the city, he serves on its Planning and Zoning Commission as an appointed member.
Frank Yonish, 51, is also running for the District Four council position. A local banker, Yonish has lived in Sugar Land for almost 12 years. When he lived in Missouri City, he was elected to serve on its city c ouncil until he moved to Sugar Land. This is Yonish’s first bid at an elected city office in Sugar Land.
Farha Ahmed, 45, also seeks the District Four council position. A state licensed attorney, Ahmed has lived in Sugar Land for 20 years and previously served on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, which is an appointed office. This represents her first time at seeking an elected office with the city.
Four district seats are up for election this May with six candidates running for office.
Bobby Marshall, 50, the incumbent for District A is seeking reelection for a second term on city council. He is a business owner. A 19-year resident of Missouri City, Marshall was previously a long-term member on the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission before his first bid for office two years ago, when he was elected.
Rodney L. Griffin, 64, seeks the District A council position and is running against the incumbent, who defeated him in 2009. A 30-year resident of Missouri City, Griffin’s occupation is in financial services. This will be his third time to run for the District A council office, having also run against former council incumbent Eunice Reiter in 2007, when the final votes tallied 274 for him against Reiter’s 277.
Don Smith, 68, is retired. He has lived in Missouri City for 31 years. As the incumbent of the District B council office, he is seeking election and not re-election since he was appointed to the council office last May. Smith filled the office vacated after incumbent Cynthia Lenton Gary, who defeated Smith in 2007, was unsuccessful at her bid for mayor last year, and was relieved of the office. Smith formerly served as the District B councilmember for two terms having been first elected to office in 2003 and then 2005. Smiith was first elected as the District B councilmember in 2002 and served continuously until 2007.
Robin Elackatt, 39, is the District C incumbent and is seeking reelection for a second term running unopposed. A hospital administrator, Elackatt has lived in Missouri City for over 5 years. In 2009, he defeated former councilmember Barbara Gibson, who served for one term.
Floyd Emery, 73, is seeking the District D council position to be vacated by incumbent Brett Kolaja, elected in 1999. Kolaja decided not to seek re-election after his sixth, two-year office term. Emery, who is running against one opponent, is retired and has lived in Missouri City for 35 years. This represents his first attempt at an elected office with the city.
Noel Pinnock, 37, also seeks the District D council position. He lists his occupation as a public servant, and has lived in Missouri City for over 11 years. This represents his second run for city office. In 2008, Pinnock ran against long-term incumbent Jerry Wyatt for an at large city council position and was defeated having received 1,368 votes against Wyatt’s 2,480 votes.
The mayor’s office and three at large council seats are up for election. All four incumbents have filed for re-election without drawing any opponents.
Mayor Leonard Scarcella, 70, is running for re-election for the mayor’s office. He is a state licensed attorney, who has lived in Stafford his entire life. Mayor Scarcella has served as mayor since 1969.
Felicia Evans-Smith, 34, is the incumbent running for re-election. She is an executive assistant/project coordinator, and has lived in Stafford for over 9 years. Evans Smith was elected to the council office in 2009.
Fred Woolridge, 66, is the other at large incumbent running for office. He completed Jeff Smith’s unexpired term and is now on council due to a special election held in November. Wooldridge lists his occupation as education administration. He has lived in Stafford for over 14 years.
Ballot drawings for the candidates’ listing will soon follow and will be most likely posted on city websites.
There are two aldermen seats due for election and three candidates are running for office.
Terry Henley, 68, is the incumbent currently serving as mayor pro tem running unopposed for Place 4. Henley is an engineer, who has lived in Meadows Place for over 29 years. He has served as city alderman since 1987.
Rick Staigle, 40, is the incumbent for Place 5 and has drawn one opponent. A traffic engineer, Staigle has lived in Meadows Place for close to 13 years and has served on city council since 2004.
John Whiteman, 67, is running against Staigle for the Place 5 alderman position. He lists his occupation as a general manager and has lived in Meadows Place for over 31 years. Whiteman ran for office when the city was first formed. At that time, the top five candidates running for city council receiving the most votes were elected. Whiteman lost by two votes.