Voters return to polls to decide runoffs
Rep. Reynolds faces Bartholomew in race for House District 27
By Joe Southern
Voters will be heading back to the polls on Tuesday, May 24, for the primary runoff elections.
The biggest race of note will be on the Democratic ballot as State Rep. Ron Reynolds faces challenger Angelique Bartholomew for the District 27 seat. The winner will go on to face Republican Ken Bryant in the Nov. 8 General Election.
The only other ticket on the Democratic ballot will be the statewide runoff for Railroad Commissioner between Grady Yarbrough and Cody Garrett. The winner of that race will face the winner of the Republic runoff between Wayne Christian and Gary Gates.
Four other races will appear on the Republican ballot. Voters in Precinct 1 will be choosing between Mike Beard and Chris Bronsell for constable. Republicans will also be deciding the County Court at Law Judge No. 5 race between Ron Cohen and Harold Kennedy. Two Criminal Court of Appeals judgeships will be on the ballot. The Place 2 race pits Ray Wheless against Mary Lou Keel and the Place 5 race has Brent Webster against Scott Walker.
Early voting started Monday and runs through Friday. The polls will be open May 24 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Voters in Fort Bend County can go to any polling location to cast their votes. To find locations or to see sample ballots, visit http://fortbendcountytx.gov/index.aspx?page=1099.
Bartholomew vs. Reynolds
The race for the House District 27 seat has gained notoriety because of Reynolds’ mounting legal problems. The Missouri City lawyer was convicted last year of five counts of misdemeanor barratry (ambulance chasing). A Montgomery County jury sentenced him to a year in jail and fined him $4,000. He has appealed and is out on bond.
More recently, a Harris County judge ruled against him in a malpractice case when a client sued him for keeping some of her settlement money. The judge awarded $504,000 in damages. It was just another in a string of malpractice suits brought against him where clients claimed he kept settlement money.
Attempts by the Fort Bend Star to contact Reynolds for comment were unsuccessful.
Reynolds, 43, a three-term legislator, faced three challengers in the March 1 Democratic primary. Despite his legal woes he nearly won, garnering 48.5 percent of the vote. Bartholomew was the second-highest vote getter with 24.1 percent and thus faces Reynolds in the runoff.
Bartholomew, 46, also from Missouri City, is a native of Alabama and is making her first bid for public office. Reynolds’ campaign has pointed out that she has two bankruptcies on her record, one from 1995 and another in 2009.
Bartholomew has said in published reports that her first bankruptcy was with her first husband and was for debt accrued after he was injured. Her second was with her second husband, who lost his job in an economic downturn. Insurance did not cover two of her children’s deliveries in a hospital and they couldn’t afford the bill.
More runoff elections
The runoff elections don’t end on May 24. Voters will be headed back to the polls June 11 to settle several runoffs in municipal races.
The five-way race for Sugar Land mayor is down to two as current city councilmen Joe Zimmerman and Harish Jajoo took the top spots respectively in the May 7 election and will continue their quest for the seat.
The At-Large Position 2 race for Sugar Land City Council features Mary Joyce and Naomi Lam.
In Missouri City, At-Large Position 2 Councilman Chris Preston heads to a runoff against Cynthia Gary.