Four Republicans and two Democrats got places on the Nov. 4 ballot for the vacancy created by the resignation of District 17 state Sen. Kyle Janek. ...
Republican candidates are Houston businessman Austen Furse, Houston lawyer Grant Harpold, former Harris County felony court Judge Joan Huffman and Lake Jackson engineer Ken Sherman.
The Democrats are former U.S. Rep. Chris Bell of Houston and Stephanie E. Simmons, who could not be reached for information about her candidacy.
As Kuffner suggests, Ms. Simmons appears to be a stooge for the Republicans. She is mentioned here as an attorney in Missouri City but save for the those two articles, has no Google hit even for her professional listing. Occasional Republican blogger Chris Elam (in Kuffner's comments) says he doesn't know her either, however.
So I suppose she could be a ghost, but most likely she's a tool. She's actually on the ballot in any event to draw one or two percent off Bell's tally to force a runoff -- where the GOP thinks they can prevail.