HD146

HD146

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Overview

Who & Where
District 146 is Houston's preeminent south-side African-American House District encompassing the bulk of Houston's Sunnyside neighborhood - the oldest African-American community in southern Houston. African-American voters in this eastern portion of the district give the Democratic Primary the overwhelming share of votes and long-standing community ties define much of the political dynamic. The western arm of the district has been reconfigured in the 2012-era map to include less of Meyerland proper, taking on other disparate multicultural neighborhoods in southwest Houston. The pattern is shared with HD131 since both districts have an elected representative from Sunnyside, yet require population elsewhere to meet the minimum requirement for a Texas House District. In it's completed form, District 146 is 56% African-American among Citizen, Voting Age population.

Borris Miles
Borris Miles is a successful insurance broker from the Sunnyside neighborhood. Miles attended Jack Yates High School as well as the High School for Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice before earning a degree at Sam Houston State in Criminal Justice and Criminal Science. After working in law enforcement for the Houston Independent School District, Miles began a career in insurance sales. It was in this career that Miles began his own agency, ultimately becoming the third largest African-American independent insurance agency and the largest in Texas.

Miles' predecessor, Al Edwards, had served the 146th district since 1978. But by 2006 Edwards had accumulated negative national press largely due to his push for outlawing "sexy cheerleading dancing" at high school football games and proposing a Juneteenth statue that included a likeness of himself. Democratic activists were disappointed with Edwards for supporting the rise of Tom Craddick to become the first post-Reconstruction Republican speaker in the Texas legislature at the start of the 2003 legislative session. Finally, the pent-up desire among younger ambitious potential candidates in the area led to a three-way primary that also included future District Judge Al Bennett. Miles spent considerable funds in his first race - over $500,000 for the primary and runoff. This included over $255,000 in loans from Miles himself, which would grow to $385,000 in loans after the runoff.

The outspoken Miles made news in his first session by removing two paintings he deemed offensive from an anti-death penalty art exhibit in the Capitol. After the session, Miles again made headlines for shooting and wounding a man who was attempting to steal copper wiring from a new house that Miles was having built.

The Miles/Edwards duel would continue in each following Democratic Primary, as Edwards handily re-won the district in the 2008 Democratic Primary after successfully pitching negative news stories and filing lawsuits against Miles. The events in question accused Miles of showing a pistol and threatening TSU regent Willard Jackson and his wife during a Houston Rockets game at the Toyota Center and displaying a pistol and forcibly kissing another man's wife while crashing a party at a St. Regis Hotel ballroom. Miles was found innocent of both charges in January 2009.

In 2010, Miles won the rubber match over Edwards by an 11-vote margin. What made each of these three outcomes interesting was that Miles never carried the African-American vote from Sunnyside in any of the three elections. It was initially the Anglo vote from the Meyerland arm of the district that gave him nearly 90% of the vote in 2006 and a strong majority in his 2010 return. For the 2012 rematch, this would change. Miles won handily with 57% of the vote, carrying the Sunnyside portion of his district for the first time.

District Outlook
The only substantive difference in the 2002- and 2012-era maps is that the loss of Meyerland precincts removes some of the influence held by the Jewish community in the district. Many of the precincts lost were marginally Republican boxes in General Election returns. These precincts were hence more valuable to Republicans looking to strengthen the Republican vote in HD134. As it is now constructed, the district will continue being dominated by African-American voters with the eventual winner being selected in the Democratic Primary.

Given the proximity of incumbent House members to the borders of HD146, it is not unlikely that it may be a greater challenge to maintain districts for Miles, Garnet Coleman and Alma Allen if they continue to represent their districts when future redistricting efforts are made.

District Map

Population & Demographics

Total Pop. 18+ Pop. CVAP-10 CVAP-11
Total 174,485 130,444 96,570 95,120
Anglo 16.3% 19.3% 25.3% 25.6%
Hispanic 31.0% 27.3% 11.9% 12.5%
Afr-Am 44.4% 43.7% 56.2% 55.5%
Other 9.2% 10.4%
Asian 5.7% 5.4%

2012 Election Analysis

84,618 Registered Voters
8,378 Spanish-Surnamed Registered Voters
51,346 Total Ballots

Contest Rep. Candidate R-% Dem. Candidate D-%
U.S. President Mitt Romney 19.1% Barack Obama 79.8%
U.S. Senate Ted Cruz 19.7% Paul Sadler 78.2%
RR Commish Christi Craddick 19.7% Dale Henry 77.5%
Supreme Court Nathan Hecht 18.1% Michele Petty 79.6%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals Sharon Keller 18.6% Keith Hampton 79.9%
State Representative Borris Miles 100.0%
County Sheriff Louis Guthrie 18.0% Adrian Garcia 80.1%
County Attorney Robert Talton 19.3% Vince Ryan 80.7%
District Attorney Mike Anderson 22.6% Lloyd Oliver 77.4%
Tax Assessor Mike Sullivan 20.1% Ann Bennett 78.0%
County Brd. of Education Mike Wolfe 19.5% Diane Trautman 80.5%

2010 Election Analysis

86,869 Registered Voters
7,920 Spanish-Surnamed Registered Voters
32,518 Total Ballots

Contest Rep. Candidate R-% Dem. Candidate D-%
Governor Rick Perry 20.9% Bill White 77.8%
Lt. Governor David Dewhurst 25.8% Linda Chavez-Thompson 72.2%
Attorney General Greg Abbott 27.6% Barbara Radnofsky 71.2%
Comptroller Susan Combs 62.3%
Land Commish Jerry Patterson 25.2% Hector Uribe 73.2%
Ag. Commish Todd Staples 24.6% Hank Gilbert 73.7%
RR Commish David Porter 23.4% Jeff Weems 74.2%
Supreme Court Debra Lehrmann 24.5% Jim Sharp 74.2%
Supreme Court Paul Green 23.7% Bill Moody 75.1%
Supreme Court Eva Guzman 25.6% Blake Bailey 72.8%
Crt. of Criminal Appeals Michael Keasler 24.6% Keith Hampton 74.1%

Redistricting

2011 Redistricting

African-American districts such as the current HD146 have been caught between competing pressure points in the 2011 redistricting process. For starters, the African-American has largely failed to keep up with the growth of the population as a whole. At the same time, VRA-protected districts are traditionally the least-preferred target for map-makers to eliminate due to the red flags such a move would raise for pre-clearance under the Voting Rights Act. As things stand, Harris County has six such districts with a Total Population that warrants 4.4 seats and a Citizen Voting Age Population that warrants 5.3.

These concerns came to the fore with regard to how African-American districts were treated with regard to the Legislature's H283 and the initial Western Court Plan H302. Complaints with H302 by African-American legislators focused on districts having a lower percentage of Total Population and Voting Age Population among African-Americans than either their existing district or the legislature's plan. In cases such as the H302 version of HD146, however, the Citizen Voting Age Population remains majority African-American. This hasn't quelled any of the concerns, as the topline demographic numbers in HD146 and other districts shows a plurality Hispanic Total Population. As a result, many African-American elected officials offered only qualified support for the Western District's plan.

2001 Redistricting

News Results

Navigation

House Districts

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