Houston City Council Member Mike Sullivan will challenge Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector Don Sumners in the March 2012 Republican Primary. Sumners, who had only $6,700 cash on hand as of his July 15 report, would appear to be very vulnerable. From January 1, 2010, through June 30, 2011, Sumners raised a total of $12,293.
Sullivan had $67,000 cash on hand as of July 15, and has raised more since that time for his city council reelection campaign. Because he did not draw an opponent (the only member of city council who is unopposed for reelection), Sullivan will be able to transfer all of his funds into the race for Tax Assessor.
Court Koenning, who was considering the race, will not run, clearing the way for Sullivan to have a clear shot at Sumners. If Sullivan defeats Sumners in the March primary and wins countywide in the November general election, Sullivan would resign his council seat and take office January 1, 2013. This would most likely set up a special election for his District E council seat in May 2013.
However, winning the Republican nomination is not tantamount to winning the general election. Most observers currently assess the Harris County races in November 2012 as tossups, with Democrats winning some and Republicans winning some.