Port of Houston Politics – Not For the Faint Of Heart
November 17, 2010

After weeks of  behind the scenes political arm twisting, Mayor Annise Parker and city council members voted Wednesday on the appointment of a new port of  Houston commissioner.

The heated battle was between current commissioner Janiece Longoria and Dean Corgey, vice president of the Seafarers International Union’s Gulf Coast Region.

Mayor Parker nominated Corgey because she wanted a labor representative to have a seat at the Port’s influential table.   She also wanted to fulfill a campaign promise to union members who supported her campaign.

Longoria, the only Hispanic on the seven member board, was the favorite of many in the legal, business and Hispanic communities.

Council voted 9-6 to appoint Longoria for another two-year term.  In her brief remarks to the Mayor and council, Longoria vowed to continue working hard and she extended an olive branch to the labor community. 

While the appointment has been decided,  the ordeal  has left a bitter taste with some council members.

Wanda Adams, who represents District D, says she was sent threatening text messages and warned she would be defeated in the next election if she did not vote for Longoria.

In a statement issued after the appointment, AFL-CIO Leader Richard Shaw stated, “Labor never gives up and we will be looking for another chance to get someone on the Port Commission from Labor.  Labor has many friends and today it found out who they were.”