Council Member-at-Large Chris Harris decides against running for mayor

By George Slaughter, News Editor
Posted 1/7/22

Chris Harris, Katy council member-at-large and mayor pro tem, said Friday he will not seek the mayoralty in May,

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Council Member-at-Large Chris Harris decides against running for mayor

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Chris Harris, Katy council member-at-large and mayor pro tem, said Friday he will not seek the mayoralty in May, saying he wanted to both remain in his current role and focus on his other community responsibilities.

Harris works for the U.S. Department of Justice. He was first elected to the council in 2018, defeating local businessman and former council member Larry Gore. Harris was reelected without opposition in 2020.

Mayor Bill Hastings appointed Harris mayor pro tem after Hastings was elected mayor in 2019. Harris was recently elected to the Katy Prairie Conservancy and is active in the West I-10 Chamber of Commerce.

“Right now, I’m just enjoying serving on the council and the other organizations to help out the community,” Harris said.

Harris said he had no reservations about his ability to do the job.

“I would give all my effort to do the job, and that’s part of what the discussion was,” Harris said. “I know my personality is to give 110% and I know I would do that.”

Harris did not rule out a possible future race for mayor—the next election would be in 2025.

“There’s no telling what will happen in the future,” Harris said. “Forever is a long time.”

The mayor’s position is the only municipal office on the ballot in the May election. Hastings said last month that he would not seek a second term in office, choosing to retire on focus on his family.

Harris described his decision not to seek the mayoralty as very difficult, but said while he felt sadness about not making the race, he felt at peace with his decision.

“Ever since I heard that Mayor Hastings wasn’t running, I just debated it in my head back and forth, what was the right timing,” Harris said. “I’ve prayed about it. I’ve spoken to my pastor about it. I had been going back and forth about it because I always wanted to serve in that capacity. When I was sitting down with my family and we were talking about things, we decided right now was not good timing to commit for running for mayor, which is a full-time responsibility.”

Asked to describe the qualities Katy needs from the mayor, Harris said he or she must have a vision for the city.

“They are the ones that work with the council,” Harris said. “They need to oversee the administrator in carrying out the vision. The mayor is the vision maker and works with the council to refine it as a strategic plan and guide that the administrator and staff can carry out.”

The filing deadline is Feb. 18. The mayoralty is the only position on the ballot, though if a current council member were to file, the city would likely hold a special election on that date for that seat.

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