Bill King kicks off mayoral campaign

February 12th, 2019

By Mary Alys Cherry

Houston businessman Bill King formally launched his mayoral campaign with a series of town hall meetings in various neighborhoods across the city Feb. 9-15.

The former mayor of Kemah, who narrowly lost by less than 4,000 votes to Mayor Sylvester Turner in the 2016 Houston mayoral runoff, reportedly the closest race in Houston mayoral history, said he was using these town halls “to begin the conversation about cleaning up City Hall and getting the city back to delivering the basic municipal services every resident is entitled to expect — trash pick-up, good roads and neighborhood policing.”

“It’s time to imagine a city where the streets are paved, the trash is picked up on time, homes don’t flood, there are more police officers patrolling our neighborhoods and where the politicians work for the people and not special interests,” King said. “Houston is the city that put a man on the moon. Don’t tell me we can’t have decent streets, good drainage, and a balanced budget. We do not have to settle for what we are currently getting from city government today.

The campaign will center on cleaning up the pay-to-play system at City Hall, which will allow city government to refocus its efforts back on delivering the basic services all Houstonians expect and deserve for the tax dollars they pay, he said.

NINE TOWN HALLS

As part of his kickoff, he hosted nine town hall meetings in every corner of Houston — in Sunnyside, East End/5th Ward, Spring Branch, Kingwood and Clear Lake. Meetings are also scheduled in Meyerland, Memorial and Timbergrove.

“Houstonians are hard-working, generous and resilient and the people are what make Houston the greatest city in the country,” King added. “But we have a city government that has failed to live up to what residents deserve, and it’s time for a change. Let’s clean  up City Hall and get back to basics.

Nothing has gotten better in the last four years, he said at one town hall.

“The truth is we have a city government that doesn’t live up to the people that live in it. I’m telling you right now, we’re going to change that once and for all,” he said at another.

King joins the incumbent Turner and Houston attorney Tony Buzbee in the race for mayor. Buzbee announced his candidacy a week before King. Election day is Nov. 5, 2019.

NATIVE OF AREA

Bill is a life-long resident of the Houston area. He was born and raised in the Clear Lake area, attending Clear Creek High School before going on to the University of Houston to earn an undergraduate degree in political science and his law degree.

In 1996, he was elected to the Kemah City Council and later served as mayor of Kemah from 2001-2005.

He has enjoyed a varied career as a businessman and a lawyer. He began his career with a turbulent, and ultimately unsuccessful, foray in the savings & loan industry in the 1980s. His experience in that industry is retold in his 2009 book, Saving Face. Later in his career, he served as the national managing partner for Linebarger, Goggan, Blair & Sampson, as president of Southwest Airport Services, Inc. and of counsel to Bracewell & Giuliani. He also was an editorial page columnist for 10 years for the Houston Chronicle.

Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel endorses Bill King in Houston mayor’s race

June 28th, 2015

Houston mayor candidate Bill King, left, with his retired Clear Creek High Principal Ralph Parr.

Houston mayor candidate Bill King, left, with his retired Clear Creek High Principal Ralph Parr.

Harris County District Clerk Chris Daniel became the first countywide elected official to announce he is endorsing businessman Bill King to be the next mayor of Houston.

“Harris County relies heavily on the success of the City of Houston,” Daniel said. “Houston demands a leader that can navigate the city toward a better, more financially stable future. I have known Bill King for a long time, and I know he is the leader Houston needs to resolve today’s financial challenges and cultivate growth for the nation’s fourth largest city. Bill will be a steady force for positive change, helping the city chart a course towards a stronger Houston.”

Daniel was first elected countywide on Nov. 2, 2010. He was re-elected last November to a second four-year term as district clerk, where he heads an office with about 450 employees and oversees a $32 million budget. The clerk’s office staffs and maintains records for 76 courts, and also runs the county’s jury service program.

In 2006, he became one of the youngest elected officials in the state of Texas when he defeated the board chairman of Lone Star College System. During his time there, the college grew to be the second largest in Texas.

“I am very happy to have this strong endorsement from a committed and effective public servant like Chris Daniel,” King said. “His endorsement of our campaign to get City Hall ‘back to basics’ helps us keep up the positive momentum we have established — and on which we are working to build.”