Candidates for Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner

Sean Hammerle, Democratic candidate, Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner

Sean Hammerle, a native Texan, is the son of a mother and father who both retired after long careers as high school principals. He attended Louisiana State University, where he majored in political science and English literature. Hammerle has lived in Houston for almost 20 years and works in public service. Now that he has received 52 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, Hammerle is ready to do what he has been doing practically all his life. "I want the work I do to make a difference," Hammerle said.

Will anything change in the next phase of the campaign, knowing you will be facing off against Jack Cagle?

It's going to be a little different, but mostly because there are now two parties looking for votes. My message has not changed though—I will bring a different perspective to Harris County. There's a trend across the country of wanting something other than the same-old-same-old.

What is your vision for Precinct 4?

Increasing communication among businesses and organizations within the precinct. I have constantly had people say, 'What does the commissioner do?' So I think we can do a lot more to inform citizens about the effect commissioners have in the county.

How will you work to stop undesirable businesses that open in areas such as FM 1960?

I do think this is an area where increasing communication precinct-wide is necessary. If the chambers were able to talk to each other, and if I can bring all of these people to the table and ask, 'How did you address it in your area?' I think it would be helpful. Again, it's just providing an outlet for people to communicate better.

What is one of the biggest challenges governing such a large unincorporated area?

The challenge overall is the budget itself. Nobody wants property taxes increased. I think we really need to take a look at other government agencies and see how they do it, and how we might be able to do it in Harris County. We want to be able to provide equitable services throughout the county.

Jack Cagle, Republican candidate, Harris County Precinct 4 Commissioner

Jack Cagle, incumbent county commissioner for precinct 4, is a former attorney and judge with a triple major from Rice University. He also received almost 73 percent of the vote in the Republican primary. Cagle has served as commissioner since last October, following the resignation of Jerry Eversole.

Will anything change now that you know who your contender is?

Not really. The only change now is I have a Democratic opponent. However, the goal of doing a good job would exist even without a Democratic opponent. My grandfather always taught me that the best campaign you could ever do is to do a good job.

What is your vision for Precinct 4?

I've inherited a precinct that is exploding in growth. My vision is to continue to be prepared for this growth and to see that we have the infrastructure in place to allow communities and businesses to grow. Economic development is the best chance to succeed.

How will you work to stop undesirable businesses that open in areas such as FM 1960?

Laws have been passed at the legislature that gives some teeth for the county to be able to enact ordinances, to stop the massage parlors and tearooms that are bringing down property values and destroying the quality of life along the [FM] 1960 corridor. We've had six meetings with state reps, county attorney's office, district attorney's office, fire marshal's office, and the sheriff's department, all together. We've now got a proposed set of ordinances that we're going to have a public hearing on in the next few weeks.

What is the biggest challenge in governing over such a large unincorporated area?

Making sure we have adequate resources to take care of the needs that are unique to residents. It requires thought, making plans, and ensuring staff is in place and at the top of their game.

Election dates for 2012

  • July 31: Primary Runoff election
  • Oct. 22-Nov. 2: Early voting for general election
  • Nov. 6: General election


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