Guest Post By: Jim Noteware, candidate for Texas Congressional District 7
In District 7 we are facing a one-term incumbent who has done a 180 degree “left” turn from what she promised. CD 7 is the most important Congressional district in the US because of its leadership in energy, healthcare and conservative values. Winning this district is essential to Republicans regaining the majority of the House of Representatives and returning it to its intended functioning – one that sets fiscal policy and serves the people. In order to do this we must flip 18 seats.
This race is going to be won by convincing Republicans and independents to turn out and vote for a candidate who can get the job done. A steady conservative candidate with broad pro-business experience can get votes from Republicans and Independents because it represents the best of this district.
I am that “steady conservative” with a long history of proven results ;that sets me apart from the other candidates in this race.
Ms. Fletcher ran as a moderate pro energy, business candidate but her voting history has been anything but moderate. She embraces the Green-New-Deal and has done little to fix our flooding. She also embraces “Medicare for All”, a policy that would destroy the nation’s healthcare system and result in massive tax increases. She has followed the path initiated by Barak Obama where the Democrat’s mantra has been, “we need to change America.” My view is that America is doing just fine; we need to change Washington, to align Washington’s interests with American voters, including in CD-7.
I am the only candidate with a successful record of repairing broken government agencies, and I used my private sector experience to do so. I’m asking voters to send me to Washington and help me work with President Trump repair the way the government works for us.
- Business leadership: CEO of Maxxam Property Company – A major division of a Fortune 500 company; founder and Worldwide Director of the National Real Estate Advisory practice for Price Waterhouse
- Public leadership: Turning around major troubled agencies at the invitation of two big-City mayors – in Washington, DC and Houston, Texas
- National and international leadership: Conducting business throughout the US and around the world.
For over 45 years, I have specialized in the development of real estate and the value-added turn-around of properties, portfolios and the organizations that manage them, both private and public. My projects have won numerous awards for innovation, performance and impact. Currently, through my various development and advisory companies, I am engaged in development of major commercial projects and creation of residentially based mixed-use communities in (re-)emerging urban infill locations in and around Houston, Texas.
The recent special election results give a working snapshot as to what works and what doesn’t work in this new Trump era of politics. State House District 28 was considered to be vulnerable in the special election after the Republicans posted only an 8.4% win in 2018. In the special election last month Gary Gates increased the margin of victory to 16%. This shows that Republicans are far from defeated and a Republican candidate that is well suited for the district WINS. By contrast, House District 148 showed that a bevy of endorsements by powerful Republicans isn’t enough to effect change in a Democratic district. We need a candidate who is able to appeal across the spectrum of moderate voters to build a coalition appropriate for the district. I am that candidate.
I am also active in civic affairs, serving as Co-Chair of Houston’s International Trade Center, focusing on international trade and investment. I have served as Expert Op-Ed Contributor to the Houston Business Journal, and am a frequent speaker on public policy, real estate markets and international investment.
Experience with local political issues and knowing the district are also necessary to win in November.
In December 2017, I sued the City of Houston because of the deceptive ballot language that was used to convince voters to approve the $1 billion authorization. The deception was a sentence missing from the ballot that permitted the City to raise property taxes in the event that it could not service the debt from the new bonds. (This was the third such deceptive ballot language in five years, after the “Rain Tax” and the “Bathroom Bill,” both of which were struck down by unanimous verdicts of the Texas Supreme Court.) I sued to protect the property tax cap that had been passed by Houston voters in 2004.
Since my leadership in the Houston Housing Department, I have been greatly involved in municipal finance generally and the City of Houston’s predicament specifically, learning from my mentor, the late Robert Lemer who was widely regarded as the dean of public finance in Texas. In late 2014, John Beddow the (now retired) publisher of the Houston Business Journal asked me to write a series of columns on local public finance as Expert Op-Ed contributor. These columns immediately captured the attention of both the local political establishment and the business leadership. This led to numerous speaking engagements around Houston, testimony during the 2015 Texas legislative session, and extensive media coverage. My writings and speaking on the City’s pension calamity became the central issue of the 2015 Houston mayoral campaign and I assisted five of the seven candidates.
I have a long history of attachment to political campaigns ranging from Rick Perry (Lt. Governor and Governor) and John Culberson – US Congress, Texas District 7 to numerous local races (Bill King (Mayor, 2015); Tony Buzbee (Mayor, 2019), Bill Frazer (City Controller, 2013, 2015), Numerous City Council Races (Greg Travis, Mike Knox, Michael Kubosh, etc.)
I have stimulated turnout of conservative voters by speaking consistently about the desperate and immediate need for “regime change” in Houston during municipal elections. I am motivated from the Congressional perspective because Houston’s fiscal situation is directly linked to the well-being of District 7 in many ways: 80% of the voters in District 7 are in the City, and our most pressing issue, flooding, has its Federal recovery and prevention allocations tied up in the City’s inept and corrupt bureaucracy.
My business career has been supplemented twice by invitations from two big-City mayors to lead large public agencies. I served two years as the City of Houston’s Director of Housing and Community Development. The Department had had a deeply troubled history for many years, and at the request of then newly-elected Mayor Annise Parker, I assumed leadership and quickly effected a major organizational turn-around, returning the Department to compliance with Federal and State funding agencies.
I then led the City into community development, emphasizing the revitalization of distressed neighborhoods through close working relationships with community groups, the creation of public-private partnerships and innovative financing mechanisms, and stimulation of employment opportunities through economic development. The Urban Land Institute’s Rose Foundation appointed me a Rose Fellow, 2010-11. I served on the boards of directors of the Houston Housing Finance Corporation (HHFC), Houston Business Development, Inc. (HBDI), the City’s economic development financing organization, and the Coalition for the Homeless (CFH).
Previously, in 2003 and 2004, at the nomination of Mayor Anthony Williams of Washington, DC and confirmation by the Bush White House, I led the real estate investment, development and operations of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC), a joint venture between the District of Columbia and US Federal Governments, to maximize and realize the value of the real estate held by both entities in the nation’s capital. I recruited a new leadership team and worked closely with numerous constituencies (including neighborhood groups, private developers, Federal and local officials and institutional investors) to effect high profile transactions, development of major projects and stimulation of neighborhood revitalization programs, including transfer of the Southwest Waterfront to the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation; redevelopment of the Mt. Vernon Triangle; creation of the DC USA / Target project; sale of the Waterside Mall into numerous neighborhood mixed-use developments; and numerous projects in Anacostia, Columbia Heights, along Georgia Avenue / Howard University, and around Union Station near Capitol Hill.
This long and deep history of involvement with campaigns not only has developed the local contacts necessary to effectively campaign come November, but it also gives me insight into how CD-7 votes and what is needed to win in the district. Rather than have the double edged sword of being Trump’s candidate – which is much a liability as an asset in CD-7 – or experience working on single issue campaigns such as metro expansion — I am already positioned to achieve success with local consultants based on a successful career of professional success and local civic involvement.
This local experience in Houston has influenced the formulation of policy positions for my Congressional campaigns, creating my specific focus on “taxpayer advocacy.” To my knowledge, I am the only candidate that has articulated this commitment, and also the only candidate to have specific — let alone ten years of consistent – experience in putting this policy into practice.
Please vote for me – I will defeat Democrat incumbent Lizzie Fletcher and help return Republican control to the US House of Representatives.