in Houston, Texas
HISD candidates Juliet Stipeche, Judith Cruz rake in big-bucks contributions from big-name politicos in final push to Election Day
Tuesday, Oct 26, 2010, 07:00PM CST
By Lynn Walsh

Five candidates have collectively raised more than $60,000 this month with hopes of filling the vacant District 8 seat on the Houston school board.

HISD District 8 map

Two candidates, lawyer Juliet Stipeche and teacher Judith Cruz, brought in the most money -- Stipeche with more than $30,500 in contributions, and Cruz with more than $25,000.

Dorothy Olmos and former teachers Roberto Centeno and Peter Schwethelm are also running for the Houston Independent School District’s position for District 8, which was left vacant after Diana Davila stepped down in July, more than a year before her term was to end.

The election is week from today. Early voting is going on in Harris County through Friday.

Texas Watchdog has published all of the campaign finance reports for the Oct. 25 filing deadline online for the public to view (just follow the link attached to a candidate’s name in this story or scroll to the bottom of the page for the listing.)

Cruz and Stipeche both received generous donations from some big names in Texas politics and the education community here in Houston.

State Sen. Mario Gallegos, D-Houston, and the Houston Federation of Teachers each donated $10,000 to Stipeche in the last month. Stipeche also received $2,000 from state Rep. (and former Houston City Councilwoman) Carol Alvarado and another $250 from state Rep. Armando Walle.

Former Houston Mayor Bob Lanier and his wife, Elyse, donated $250 to Cruz. Lanier, a Republican and real estate developer, served as the city’s mayor from 1992-98.

Cruz also received a $10,000 donation from the Houston Business Education Coalition PAC. Former HISD Superintendent and U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige and 13 other business and professional leaders are members of the political action committee.

The law firm Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson donated $1,000 to both Cruz and Stipeche. The law firm has received more than $7.2 million from HISD this year and more than $16.5 million since October 2008, according to the HISD check online check register.

Check out the links below for more information on the five candidates running for office:

Contact Lynn Walsh at, 713-228-2850 or on Twitter @LWalsh.

Tuesday, 11/02/2010 - 06:03PM

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