May elections get crowded
By Michael Sudhalter
Fred Taylor respects what Missouri City Mayor Allen Owen has done over the past 22 years, but the 48-year-old small business owner believes he’s the right person to move the city forward.
“I don’t think the Mayor is a bad person,” Taylor said. “He’s brought Missouri City a long way. What I bring is the next chapter of what Missouri City wants to see.”
Missouri City voters will choose between Taylor and Owen during the May 7 election.
Owen, a 72-year-old retired bank executive, defeated Noel Pinnock, 70-to-30 percent in 2014, and is confident that Missouri City voters will continue to support his leadership.
“I run on what I think I bring to the position and what I have done over the past 30 years to make this the very best place for people to call home,” Owen said.
“I hope that the citizens of the City see that I did not just jump up one day and say I want to be Mayor. I served my time on the committees and Council that prepared me to be Mayor. I am proud of the fact that my support comes from everyone, regardless of race, color, gender, political party, or ethnic group.”
Taylor is a first-time candidate, but he’s no stranger to politics, having successfully managed the campaigns HCC Trustee Neeta Sane, Precinct 2 Justice of the Peace Joel Clauser and the first term of Missouri City District A Council Member Yolanda Ford.
Missouri City residents will have another two city-wide elections to decide.
Incumbent At-Large Council Member Position 1 Jerry Wyatt, a 68-year-old retired hospital administrator, has served on council for 30 years. He’ll face private security executive Pernell Davis, 30, who has emphasized the issue of increasing economic development in the City.
Wyatt has made a campaign issue of the fact that Davis doesn’t own a home in Missouri City.
Incumbent At-Large Council Member Position 2 Chris Preston, a 30-year-old business owner, will face two opponents in his efforts to earn a second term.
Those two candidates are Cynthia L. Gary, a 57-year-old educator who previously served on the Missouri City Council and the Fort Bend ISD Board of Trustees. Gary unsuccessfully ran for Mayor but had the best showing of any candidate who’s ever challenged Owen.
Susan Soto, a 48-year-old attorney, has entered the At-Large 2 election. Soto is among the plaintiffs in a non-monetary class action civil lawsuit relating to Truancy in Fort Bend ISD and Fort Bend County.
If none of those three candidates garners 50 percent of the vote, there will be a runoff election in June.
Meanwhile in Sugar Land, there are five mayoral candidates – the same amount of Republican presidential candidates as incumbent mayor Jimmy Thompson will be term-limited in May.
Current council members Joe Zimmerman, 62, and Harish Jajoo, 61, are both engineers.
Mayoral candidates include political newcomers Sarwar Khan, a 62-year-old car salesman, Kyle Stanley, a 30-year-old Logistics Analyst, and Myatt Hancock, a 65-year-old mortgage banker.
In At-Large Position 1, two-term incumbent Himesh Gandhi, a 39-year-old attorney, will face Diana Miller, a 60-year-old real estate agent and the leader of Sugar Land Votes.
Four candidates are vying to fill Zimmerman’s At-Large Position 2 seat.
Mary Joyce, a 56-year-old retired corporate manager, was the first candidate to file. She’ll face Naomi Lam, a 72-year-old real estate investor and former FBISD trustee, Peter Simons, the 55-year old former manager of the Sugar Land Regional Airport, and Ron Block, a 72-year-old attorney.
Matthew Pollak, a 27-year-old engineer, withdrew from the Position 2 election last Friday.
Hancock, Miller and Lam are running on the “Sugar Land Votes” alliance, which emphasizes limiting the number of apartments in the city, among other issues.
FBISD board member and former board president Jim Rice, a 60-year-old project manager, is running unopposed in Position 3.
FBISD Vice President Dave Rosenthal, a 54-year-old geophysicist, faces four opponents in efforts to earn a second full term.
His opponents are James Davidson, a 30-year-old project manager, Laura Ramirez, a 41-year-old Human Resources Director in Alief ISD, Sonja Leonard, a 55-year-old Speech Therapist and Dr. Shirley Rose-Gilliam, a 52-year-old principal in Houston ISD.
Unlike Missouri City and Sugar Land elections, FBISD won’t have any runoff elections. Therefore, a Position 7 candidate could theoretically be elected with 21 percent of the vote.