Voters made history in Harris and Fort Bend Counties by electing the first Black County attorneys and the first Black Sheriff in more than 100 years.
HOUSTON – It’s an election night that will go down in history with a record turnout in the Houston area. This election also makes history for those who will take office in January.
Fort Bend County broke the glass ceiling by electing the first African American district attorney, Bridgette Smith-Lawson. Fort Bend County’s voters also elected the first black sheriff in more than 100 years, Eric Fagan.
Michael Adams, a professor of political science at Texas Southern University, believes this has to do with the people who moved to the area.
“It’s amazing to see how the population is changing and where there are blacks and blacks in general,” said Adams. “Fort Bend County could be defined as a blue county.”
But they’re not the only ones making history. Harris County voters also elected Black County’s first attorney, Christian D. Menefee.
“Not only are you increasing breed diversity here in Harris County, but you think it would lead to the people here in Fort Bend County voting for African American candidates,” Menefee said. “It’s just an incredibly powerful thing.”
Adams said it was a step in the right direction given the history of black electoral repression in both counties after the reconstruction era. Adams hopes their leadership will inspire other minorities to run for office and will ultimately bring more diversity to local government.
“They want knowledgeable and skilled people to run for office. And we happen to get people who overcome obstacles that are long overdue,” said Adams.