Saturday, October 10, 2009

Clerk Kaufman retiring

Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman, a one-time Waller County farm girl who oversaw record-keeping and election functions of the nation's third largest county, announced Friday she will not seek a fifth term next year. ...

n 1994, Kaufman was appointed to fill an unexpired term as county clerk after the death of Molly Pryor, who had been appointed eight months earlier after the death of longtime clerk Anita Rodeheaver.

Duties of the county clerk include maintaining records for commissioners court, probate and civil courts; overseeing records of real property, tax liens and vital statistics, and supervising elections.

Congratulations and enjoy your retirement, Ms. Kaufman.

Let the speculation begin on her 2010 potential successors. Councilwoman and Vice Mayor Pro Tem (and DNC member) Sue Lovell is widely rumored to be interested in the post, though we likely won't hear anything about it from her until after the November municipal elections. Hector de Leon, Kaufman's director of communications and voter outreach, could have an interest; 2006 Clerk candidate and 2008 judicial candidate James Goodwille Pierre may as well.

Republicans will line up to replace Kaufman, too. Their ranks could include former and very temporary District Clerk, Theresa Chang; the man she replaced when he unsuccessfully challenged County Judge Ed Emmett, Charles Bacarisse; and Tom Moon, whose long record of both Republican activism and government service includes a stint working for both Kaufman and former tax assessor/collector Paul Bettencourt.

Dwayne Bohac and Ed Johnson probably have ruined their chances.

What names are you hearing bandied about, from either side of the aisle?

Update: Carl Whitmarsh advances the name of Sue Schechter.

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