District C Houston City Council candidates raise more than $300,000 ahead of campaign filing window

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Update: 1:35 p.m. August 19

Former District C Houston City Council candidate Anthony Dolcefino filed to run for At-Large position 4 July 25.

Update: 2:10 p.m. July 25

Fundraising information that was not previously posted for several candidates has been updated.

Update: 10:05 a.m. July 22 

Former District C Houston City Council candidate Nick Hellyar filed to run for At-Large position 4 July 22. He entered the race after Amanda Edwards, who currently holds the position, announced her intent to run for United States Senate.

Original post:

Ahead of the city's official candidate filing deadline, Houston City Council District C contenders have already reported almost $300,000 in campaign contributions total.

Candidates vying to represent the district, which includes parts of Meyerland, Montrose, the Heights and central northwest Houston, filed required paperwork detailing campaign contribution totals July 15.

The roughly 200,000-person district is represented by Mayor Pro Tem Ellen Cohen, who has reached her term limit.

With no incumbent, the race has over a dozen candidates and could see more contenders join when campaign filing officially opens July 22. Candidates have until Aug. 20 to submit paperwork to be included on the ballot.

The following candidates are the top fundraisers of the campaign so far.

Abbie Kamin

Civil rights attorney Abbie Kamin reported the highest amount of contributions in the race with $175,490.31 as of July 15. She also snagged the endorsement of Cohen, which the outgoing council member announced via social media June 24.

Mary Jane Smith

Business owner, political consultant and fundraiser Mary Jane Smith, who has lived in three different neighborhoods of District C, has raised $58,906.

Shelley Kennedy

A 20-year resident of the district who owns a health and wellness consulting business as well as a small construction company, Shelley Kennedy has raised $39,651 so far in her first campaign for office.

Nick Hellyar

With $37,017.45 raised, the next-highest fundraiser, Nick Hellyar—owner of real estate firm The Hellyar Group—may file for a different race all together. Following At-Large 4 Council Member Amanda Edwards' announcement that she will run for U.S. Senate instead of seeking re-election to her current seat, Hellyar indicated on Facebook that he is mulling a bid for her position.

Daphne Scarborough

Business owner Daphne Scarborough reported $31,195.00 in contributions. She has owned and operated custom-metal fabrication company Brass Maiden on Richmond Avenue since 1983.

Greg Meyers

A former Houston ISD board president, Greg Meyers reported $25,722.71 in contributions as of July 15. Meyers is the chief financial officer for karate program Kickstart Kids and an adjunct professor at St. Thomas University.

Kendra Yarbrough Camarena

Kendra Yarbrough Camarena is a former school teacher and candidate for Texas House District 138. She has raised $13,638.42 as of July 15. Her campaign website states that she teaches a civic education curriculum that she created for students in Houston ISD.

Bob Nowak

Bob Nowak is the webmaster for the city of Houston and has worked for the city in various capacities for 24 years, his campaign website states. As of July 15, he reported $13,186 in campaign contributions.

Candelario Cervantez

A diversity and inclusion executive for Teach for America and third-generation Houstonian, Candelario Cervantez has raised $1,954.44.

Amanda Wolfe

Self-described activist, historic preservationist and former journalist Amanda Wolfe reported $63 in contributions for the July reporting period.

Other potential candidates

The following candidates for District C, most of which have launched formal campaign websites, have filed paperwork indicating they have chosen a campaign treasurer, but did not have financial documents available.

  • Kevin Walker

  • Anthony Dolcefino

  • Rodney Hill

In the coming months, Community Impact Newspaper will continue to follow Houston's municipal elections and provide information about candidates on the Nov. 5 ballot.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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