Due to the shockingly dismal turnout of 13% for the recent November General Election held on Nov. 8th for the Mayoral and various other City Council, HISD and HCC races, political pundits unfortunately expect an even less turnout for the scheduled Runoff Election on Saturday, Dec. 10th.
There are 4 city council seats up for grabs and are scheduled for the Runoff Election including City Council At-Large Position 2 which had a packed race of 10 candidates vying for the seat. Well known business owner and pastor, Andrew C. Burks, Jr., garnered 17.4% of the votes which positioned him as the frontrunner, and 15.7% for his opponent, Kristi Thibaut. Burks has run for city council four times previously, and in 2009, he was in another runoff with the incumbent Sue Lovell who is term limited.
Burks is a native Houstonian who has been a trailblazer in the telecommunications industry as the first African American to own a telephone communications/interconnect company in the city. He has installed and managed telephone systems for many businesses and residences throughout the city. He’s often reluctant to acknowledge that he successfully opened doors for many other minorities who followed in his footsteps.
His ongoing commitment to his community primarily stems from having been taught by his parents at an early age the need to make a difference in peoples’ lives. He began his community involvement at the young age of 5 when he eagerly began participating in activities at both the South Central YMCA and the Red Shield Boys Club. He later became active with the NAACP as a youth participant and was also a well-rounded athlete in high school having participated in football, baseball and swimming programs at Jack Yates High School.
Burks is a lifelong Democrat who has been committed and actively involved with democratic politics for many years. He has served on the Harris County Democratic Party Steering Committee; and in 1996, he wrote the book, “Blueprint to Democratic Party Victory” which is a manual used by both the Harris County Democratic Party and other democratic parties around the state of Texas. Burks also sent a copy of his “blueprint” to former President Bill Clinton while he was in office and he received accolades from the president for his vision and commitment.
Burks is hoping that on Dec. 10th he will begin yet another chapter in his life as ‘The People’s Choice” for the Position 2 At-Large seat on Houston City Council. Burks said, “I’m hoping that voters will return to the polls and elect me as their representative on City Council; it’s an important election and we can’t take it for granted. Let’s prove the political pundits wrong and show them that we care about who represents us in our community. As an At-Large Councilmember, I want to serve the people and help improve the quality of life for the residents of Houston. We have many issues facing us in this decade including bringing jobs back to our city so that Houstonians can provide for their families along with continuing with our economic and small business development programs; insuring the public safety of our neighborhoods so that our children, our seniors and our families are safe; improving our infrastructure so that we can move forward as a world class city; as well as making sure that our city government runs smoothly and is fiscally sound and responsive to the needs of our citizens. These are the priorities of our city and when we work together, we can accomplish a great deal for the people.”
The other runoff races are for District A, District B and At-Large 5; and “Early Voting” begins Nov. 30th. The Runoff Election is Saturday, Dec. 10th.