Mayor Annise Parker

Houston Mayor Annise Parker at Dallas Pride in 2010.


Jenifer Rene Pool

Houston Mayor Annise Parker plans to seek a third and final term in November, and a transgender candidate has launched her campaign for City Council. Houston mayors and council members may serve up to three two-year terms.

On her campaign website Parker writes:

“We’re leading the nation in job creation. We’re ‘America’s Coolest City’ (Forbes) and the 7th best place in the world to visit in 2013 (New York Times). We’re the #1 city in America to further a career ( And those are just a few examples in just the last year.”

This year Parker may have some serious opposition. Benjamin Hall III, who served as city attorney under Mayor Bob Lanier (1992–1998), told a local TV station he is seriously considering a run. As of today, he had no campaign website in place.A recent poll by a Rice University political scientist shows 57 percent of voters approve of her job performance and 30 percent disapprove.

Meanwhile, Jenifer Rene Pool, who is transgender, tells Instant Tea she’ll make a second run for an at-large City Council seat.

Pool is a self-employed consultant in construction management and permitting. She served as a member of the Buildings and Standards and Police Advisory commissions and was appointed by Parker to a special blue ribbon task force on buildings and standards. She co-hosts Queer Voices, a weekly radio show on the Houston Pacifica station.

But her biggest asset in running for office in Houston may be the three terms she served as president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus. Both Parker and former three-term City Councilwoman Sue Lovell began their political careers heading the caucus.

Pool’s campaign kickoff event takes place from 5:30–7 p.m on Thursday at BB’S, 701 Studewood St., Houston.

Houston municipal elections are in November.