By Betsy Dolan
Texas’ redistricting tug-of-war may be far from settled but the county’s field of candidates for the general election is now set. The December 19 filing deadline revealed an intriguing cast of experienced Republicans and Democrats. “The Fort Bend Star” will devote the next few weeks profiling these candidates.
State Representative HD 26 (R)
This area covers the heart of Fort Bend County including Sugar Land, Stafford, Richmond and Missouri City.
Sonal Bhuchar is a Fort Bend ISD Board Trustee and a small business owner of a private physical therapy company. She is a long time resident of Sugar Land and the past president of Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees.
Jacquie Chaumette is the senior member of the Sugar Land City Council and is currently serving as Mayor Pro Tem. She is the president and CEO of Baly Projects, LLC, which advises corporations on transportation, education and infrastructure policy issues.
Diana Miller is a broker and owner of Fort Bend Homes, an independent residential real estate firm in Sugar Land. She was also a long time commercial real estate executive in Houston. Miller is a long time community activist, most recently opposing construction of apartments at the Imperial Sugar Redevelopment Project.
Rick Miller spent four years as the Fort Bend County Republican Chairman before resigning in August. He is an experienced business executive and retired Naval Captain.
State Representative HD 28 (R)
This area is one of the fastest growing regions in the state and covers Waller, Wharton and western Fort Bend counties.
John Zerwas is currently serving his third term in the Texas Legislature. He has been a physician for more than 30 years. He currently serves on the House Appropriations Committee as chairman of the Health and Human Services subcommittee.
387th District Judge (R)
Brenda Mullinix is currently an Associate Judge in the 387th District Court. Judge Robert Kerr, who has held the post since 1999, did not file for re-election. Mullinix graduated from the South Texas College of Law.
400th District Judge (R)
Cliff Vacek was appointed to the bench in 2004. He ran unsuccessfully for Fort Bend County Attorney in 2002. He graduated from the University of Houston School of Law.
434th District Judge (R)
James H. “Jim” Shoemake was the first judge appointed to the newly established 434th District Court by Governor Rick Perry in 2007. Shoemake was the past president and past vice president of Fort Bend County Children’s Protective Services Board.
Republican Party Chair
Sharon Roberts is the current Republican Party Chair, appointed to the post in August when Rick Miller resigned. She is a former Precinct Chair and a nationally recognized conservative writer and speaker.
Mike Gibson has been active in the Republican party for 20 years including a stint as Precinct Chair. He was chairman of the Parks and Recreation board for seven years. He works in the oil and gas industry.