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Charlie Howard Gets a Challenger

Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem Jacquie Chaumette says she will challenge state Rep. Charlie Howard, R-Sugar Land, in next year's Republican primary.

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Sugar Land Mayor Pro Tem Jacquie Chaumette says she will challenge state Rep. Charlie Howard, R-Sugar Land, in next year's Republican primary. She's been on the council since 2008 and also served on the Brazos River Authority's board.

Chaumette thought about running a few years ago but decided to run for council instead. Now, she says, the area needs "more open-minded" leadership. Howard, Chaumette says, hasn't been as responsive to local constituents as other members of the delegation like state Rep. John Zerwas, R-Simonton; state Sen. Joan Huffman; R-Southside Place; and U.S. Rep. Pete Olson, R-Sugar Land. "He's a phantom state rep," she says of the incumbent.

Chaumette is black in a district where, she says, only 4 percent of voters are black (she raised the subject in an interview). But she got 70 percent of the vote in a contested city council election and doesn't think it will be an issue.

Howard didn't immediately return our call seeking comment.

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