Melissa Noriega, a Houston educator whose campaign had strong funding and key support, easily defeated retired Air Force officer Roy Morales in Saturday’s runoff for the Houston City Council At-Large Position 3 seat.
Noriega took 55 percent to Morales’ 45 percent with nearly all but one precinct reporting.
Shelley Sekula-Gibbs vacated the council seat in November after she won a special election to serve the final weeks of U.S. Rep. Tom DeLay’s term.
Less than 3 percent of voters cast ballots in the Houston City Council race.
Noriega acknowledged that she was concerned about the turnout.
She and her campaign staff were making calls up until 15 minutes before the polls closed, ensuring that her supporters showed up.
“After you win is where the real work begins. Doing the job is the real work,” Noriega said. “The people of Houston have honored me with their trust and their votes; there’s nothing more powerful than that.”
Noriega will have less time than usual to begin the job. She will be sworn in at City Hall on June 27, after the City Council canvasses the votes from the election.
She has long served as a Houston Independent School District special projects manager, but said she will retire from that position to devote her time to City Council.
“I’m going to wrap up my old life and start a new one,” she said. “I will treat this as a full-time job.”
FULL STORY: http://chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/4896365.html