Gilbert Garcia, a leading voice in encouraging diversity within the asset management industry, is running for mayor of Houston.
Mr. Garcia, managing partner of Garcia Hamilton & Associates LP, a Houston-based minority-owned fixed-income money manager with $21.2 billion in assets under management, said in an announcement last month that a "shake-up" is needed at Houston's City Hall.
It's Mr. Garcia's first run for office. The election is slated for Nov. 7 with a host of candidates already announced and more expected. Incumbent Mayor Sylvester Turner is term-limited from seeking re-election.
Elections in Houston are non-partisan, so Mr. Garcia is not running on a party line. If no candidate in the field receives more than 50% of the vote, the top two vote getters will face off in a run-off election in December.
Despite this being his first run for office, Mr. Garcia is no stranger to public service. In July 2021, the Securities and Exchange Commission's Asset Management Advisory Committee approved a series of recommendations for the SEC to consider on diversity and inclusion. Mr. Garcia chaired the committee's Diversity and Inclusion Subcommittee during that time and has implored the SEC to do more on the issue.
When asked why he's running for mayor, Mr. Garcia started by saying he loves the city he's called home for more than 30 years.
However, he added in an email that "Houston is in a difficult position with ongoing investigations into two city departments, indictments in city hall, ongoing feuds with the fire department, crime near all-time highs and concerns around a major airport concession contract. Not to mention, we may be facing a recession later this year. Thus, I want to lend my business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit to help improve the city's position."
Mr. Garcia, who also chaired Houston METRO, the city's transit agency, from 2010-2016, said his financial background could help improve Houston's current fiscal circumstances.