Melissa Noriega

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Melissa Noriega
Houston City Councillor At-large Seat #3
In office
July 2007 – December 2013
Preceded byShelley Sekula-Gibbs
Succeeded byMichael Kubosh
Member of the Texas House of Representatives from the 145th District
In office
January 11, 2005 – August 28, 2005
Preceded byRick Noriega
Succeeded byRick Noriega
Personal details
BornJuly 14
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Political partyDemocrat (council is nonpartisan)
ResidenceHouston, Texas
Alma materUniversity of Houston

Melissa Meisgeier Noriega is a former member of the Houston City Council in Houston, Texas, having held At-Large Position 3.[1] Noriega is an educator and civic leader in Houston and Harris County, Texas, as well as a former member of the Texas House of Representatives. She currently is part of the leadership team at BakerRipley, a community development non-profit.

Educational work[edit]

Noriega was employed with the Houston Independent School District from 1981 to 2007 in various capacities.

Tenure in the Texas House of Representatives[edit]

Noriega served as State Representative for Texas House District 145 in 2005 while her husband, State Representative Richard J. "Rick" Noriega, served in Afghanistan as part of Operation Enduring Freedom.[2] She was sworn in on January 11, 2005. She filed eleven bills and succeeded at passing three into law. At the end of the legislative session, the House Democratic Caucus voted her freshman of the year. She relinquished the seat when her husband's tour of duty ended on August 26, 2005.[3]

Preceded by
Richard J. "Rick" Noriega
Member of the Texas House of Representatives
from District 145 (Houston)

January 11, 2005 – August 26, 2005
Succeeded by
Richard J. "Rick" Noriega

Houston City Council[edit]

Noriega was elected to At-Large Position 3 on the Houston City Council in a special election held on June 16, 2007. The seat had been vacated by Shelley Sekula-Gibbs when she won an earlier election to complete the term of Congressman Tom DeLay after he resigned from office. [4] Noriega was subsequently elected to three two-year terms on the council, where she served as chair of the Public Safety Committee, vice-chair of the Development and Regulatory Affairs Committee, and on seven other council committees. In its endorsement of Noriega for a third term on the council, the Houston Chronicle praised Noriega for her effectiveness in dealing with Houston's pension issues and her efforts "to put Houston's infrastructure improvements on a more stable, pay-as-you-go basis."[5] Noriega was blocked by term limits from seeking a fourth full term.[6]

Candidacy for Harris County Department of Education[edit]

In 2014, Noriega ran for At-Large Position 7 on the Harris County Department of Education, a body that supports Harris County's 26 independent school districts. Noriega, a Democrat, lost to Republican Don Sumners, a former Harris County Tax Assessor Collector.[7]

Candidacy for Texas House[edit]

Following State Representative Carol Alvarado's elevation to the Texas Senate in a special election on December 11, 2018, Noriega became a candidate in an eight-way race for Texas House District 145, the district she represented for several months while her then-husband, Rick Noriega was deployed to Afghanistan.[8] In the January 29, 2019 special election, Noriega finished second behind Houston Planning Commissioner and funeral-home CEO Christina Morales, necessitating a runoff to pick the eventual winner.[9]


  1. ^ University Corridor Fixed Guideway in Houston, Harris County: Environmental Impact Statement. 2010. pp. A–2. Retrieved 24 November 2017.
  2. ^ Ratcliffe, R.G. (29 December 2004). "Lawmaker on active duty chooses wife to fill his seat". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  3. ^ Burka, Paul (March 2006). "Duty Calls" (March 2006). Texas Monthly. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  4. ^ Mack, Kristen (17 June 2007). "Noriega easily wins Houston council seat runoff". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  5. ^ Editorial board (13 October 2011). "Editorial: Noriega for At-Large Position 3". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  6. ^ Fraser, Jayme (13 October 2013). "Experience in government, business touted in At Large 3 race". Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  7. ^ Editorial Board (3 October 2014). "For HCDE board ..." Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  8. ^ Editorial Board. "For State Representative, District 145: Melissa Noriega [Endorsement]" (13 January 2019). Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 5 February 2019.
  9. ^ Scherer, Jasper. "Morales, Noriega head to runoff in House District 145 special election" (29 January 2019). Houston Chronicle. Retrieved 5 February 2019.