Earlier in the week, the Chronicle‘s Matt Stiles broke another interesting story from City Hall — this time on the inconsistent treatment of candidate applications by city officials in recent years.
He followed that story with a report on the complaint by a candidate whose application was recently rejected on a technicality:
Ray Jones Jr., who was denied a space on the ballot for the May 12 special election to replace former Councilwoman Shelley Sekula-Gibbs, filed a petition in state appellate court trying to force the city to let him run.
He contends that city officials denied his notarized application because he left an oath section blank while other candidates with mistakes on their forms were approved.
In a petition to the 14th Court of Appeals on Thursday, Jones’ attorney, Richard Leach, also suggested that his client’s advocacy on behalf of the disabled in conflict with the city may have played a role.
His daughter, Kristen Jones, who is disabled, recently won a federal court case against Mayor Bill White and the city in which the judge required that dozens of curbs be fixed or rebuilt to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Jones also said he has appeared before the council and other groups to complain about White’s policies on mobility and parking.
“It appears that, if you’re favorable to the city, then the city will allow you to run,” Leach said. “If the city doesn’t like you, as in the case of Ray Jones, then it doesn’t allow you to run.”
We’re pretty sure that the current Mayor of Houston has more important things to do with his time than to micromanage the vetting of applications for City Council races.
However, given the earlier reporting by Stiles about the inconsistent application of standards in these matters, it doesn’t look good that one of the rejected candidates just happens to be a thorn in the side of the city. We hope that’s just an unfortunate coincidence.