Bellaire election results: Friedberg, Verma, Pappas, Fife, charter changes appear victorious

By Charlotte Aguilar

With all but one of Bellaire’s five precincts reporting, incumbents appear headed for re-election in Bellaire, a dedicated city volunteer looks to have snagged an open City Council seat, and 18 tweaks to the city charter seem likely to pass.

Turnout was extremely low among Bellaire’s 12,600 registered voters.

Four city precincts, as always, provided their results to the city soon after polls closed, but the judge for Precinct 268 at ChristChurch Presbyterian would only report directly to the county, City Secretary Tracy Dutton said. (We will provide final results as they become available through Harris County.)

The other results show Mayor Andrew Friedberg handily winning a second, two-year term, Position 5 incumbent Councilmember Michael Fife in the lead over former Councilmember Jim Avioli to apparently win her first full term (she was elected to two, unexpired years of Friedberg’s seat when he ran for mayor), and Gus Pappas a sure thing, with no opposition.

The new face on council, if results hold, is Neil Verma in Position 1, who is leading Kevin Newman convincingly. Verma has served as Parks & Recreation Advisory Board chairman and chair of the city’s Charter Review Committee for the past year, as well. He was a member of Bellaire’s first Citizen’s Academy leadership training program, and helped run a grassroots flood repair and cleanup program for residents after Hurricane Harvey.

The vote counts from four out of five Bellaire precincts are:

Mayor — Andrew Friedberg, 1,466; Robert Riquelmy, 177

Council Position 1 — Neil Verma, 1,028; Kevin Newman, 519

Council Position 3 — Gus Pappas, 1,338 (unopposed)

Council Position 5 — Michael Fife, 921; Jim Avioli, 656

(Clockwise top from left) Friedberg, Vermma, Fife, Pappas. (InstantNews graphic)