Glitter Political: Meet Carlton Soules, SA politics’ own honey badger
Published: January 15, 2014
High up on the sixth floor of the Catholic Life Insurance Building, an apocalyptic mist drapes over the city's northeast side like a shimmering, silver cloak. Directly across from me, former City Council member (D-10) Carlton Soules takes a sip of his hot coffee from behind a hefty, wooden desk. Soules, now 47, recently resigned from his position on the dais in an intrepid move to challenge Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff in the upcoming election. Wolff, a longtime political somebody who's held the office since 2001, has been actively involved in Texas politics since 1971 making his dynastic surname a familiar one among voters. With that said, the question on everyone's mind - outside of District 10 - may very well be - Who is Carlton Soules?
It could be a question from Soules’ current book, one of the thousands he says he has at his house.
“I read an enormous amount,” he says. The office walls behind him are smooth and utterly bare. On the floor, leaning against the wall are rows of framed pictures, certificates and perhaps diplomas. “I read like other people watch TV. I'm reading right now...Atlas Shrugged. It's like reading War and Peace.”
That is a long book. I know because I'm currently reading it myself.
“Really?” His response is uncharacteristically enthusiastic. “No way!”
Soules' political beginnings include serving on neighborhood association boards and supporting past D-10 council members, so the realities of serving on council himself when he was elected in 2011 were “not a complete surprise.”
“I don't think I was quite prepared for the intensity level of it,” he admits.
“It's an interesting job because you can make it as much work as you want to. Some people in the past have spent 10 to 20 hours a week on it. [But] you could go 70 hours a week and never get everything done.”
In fact, Soules still jokes with his predecessor John Clamp that he's just now getting through the list that he'd left him to do. “I'm sure my replacement will say the same thing,” he says.
He admits he'll miss his time on city council then touches on the growing support for D-10 replacement hopeful Mike Gallagher who resigned as president of the Northeast Neighborhood Alliance on Friday according to an NNA press release. “He's a fascinating guy,” Soules says of the 67-year old retired Air Force colonel. “I think in public service ... there comes a time when you've done your service and then it's time to let somebody else do it. He looks like he's going to emerge.”
Soules had the option to run for two more terms thanks to former City Council member (D-1) Mary Alice Cisneros' gift of term limit extensions. “I think what it came down to [was] 'where could I be most effective?'” he replies addressing the reason for his departure. Like long-time Bexar County Commissioner (Precinct 4) Tommy Adkisson, who will face the music in the Democratic primary, Soules, too, set his sights on the county judge's post.