Tag Archives: houston mayor

2019 Houston Mayor, Council Races Shaping Up

Big thanks to Erik Manning of the Sharpstown Dems for keeping a list of incumbents and candidates up-to-date as many of us start thinking about the local election to be held in November.

The Mayoral race will be cause for a lot of ad buys and excitement on the ground–most of the money will be in this race. The open seat in District B has a growing list of prospects. The open seat being vacated by term-limited Ellen Cohen in District C will also be cause for a lot of activity and money flying around. District F’s right-winger Steve Le will hopefully get a good challenge by at least one of the candidates in what is usually a low turnout race–I really need a new council member. District J, some call it the newest Latino council district (out of 3 only 1 is brown), has a chance to actually a elect a brown person, although, the voting population is diverse and any candidate will be required to play well with all of the communities.

There are a couple of at-large races that are getting exciting, too. I’ve made my choice in At-Large 1 hoping that Raj Salhotra can work past a couple of perennial candidates and anyone else who signs up to unseat Mike Knox. There are several candidates who will try to unseat Kubosh in At-Large 3, thus far. And it seems like the entire city is running for At-Large 5, which is finally being vacated by term-limited Jack Christie (he seems to have been there forever!). Surely, there will be more signing up for all of the races before the deadline. I have no favorites in the latter two races, though. I don’t care how much money one is raising, it is sincerity, ideas, and a little bit of retail politics which earns my support early. If  one is good, the money will come. So, I’ll be keeping an eye out.

This is just an early look and a reminder that we have a very important election in November. We need to do a lot better than low double-digit turnout. And we need to be smart about our choices–getting through the bullshit that will surely be well-financed by special interests and wealthy candidates. Although the activity of people signing up seems exciting, it’s the work of the candidates that will make it exciting (and for incumbents, their actions).

I’ll have more on the individual races in the future. For now, enjoy finding out more about the candidates! Click here to see the list of candidates.

 

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Turner Earns Key Endorsements

turnerAfter receiving the endorsement of former opponent Adrian Garcia, as well as the collective nod of local Latino elected officials, another former opponent, Steve Costello, announced that he, too, will support Sylvester Turner for Mayor.

“Sylvester and I agree that ReBuild Houston is a good baseline infrastructure program that can and must be improved to meet the needs and expectations of Houstonians,” said Costello.  “We agree that our police force needs to be increased to match the city’s growth and growing needs, and that we must get back to community-based policing so officers are connected to our neighborhoods’ challenges and successes.”

“After leaving office in January, my focus will be on finding a path forward to position Houston for its next steps in mass transportation,” said Costello.  “Sylvester Turner is the best candidate to connect all of Houston through multi-modal transportation, and I look forward to working with him on critical transportation issues like commuter rail.”

turner

Credit: Turner Campaign

Among the Latino elected officials endorsing Turner are:  HISD Trustee Juliet Stipeche, CM Robert Gallegos, CM Ed Gonzalez, State Senator Sylvia Garcia, State Reps. Ana Hernandez, Armando Walle, Jessica Farrar, and Carol Alvarado, and Constable Chris Diaz.

Thus far, the most notable post-first-round endorsement is that of former Sheriff Adrian Garcia, who came in at third place in the race.  No doubt that these lighting fast endorsements from former foes with slightly varying platforms and views are evidence that Houston can come together to elect a “mayor for all.”

Stay tuned for more Run-Off news. Run-off is December 12.

Adrian Garcia Raises $1.5M in 56 Days

adrianpicThe Adrian Garcia for Mayor campaign reports raising $1.5 million in the 56 days it had to raise funds before the first reporting deadline. Giving credit to grassroots energy and a base of loyal supporters, Garcia states that voters are attracted to his fiscally responsible management practices during his terms as Sheriff.

Garcia:  “Our message that we reformed the Sheriff’s Office, saved the taxpayers millions of dollars, and kept people and families safe is resonating with voters across Houston.  We will bring that same fiscally responsible approach and smart management practices to tackle the tough issues at City Hall.  The broad base of support we have already built puts us well on the way to victory in November.”

Local pundits had stated that for Garcia to look viable he would need to report raising at least $500k during this period, shortened because he was still on the job as Sheriff. Pundits also stated he would need to raise $2 million or more to run a viable campaign thru the first round. What this blogger noticed upon Garcia’s launch was a burst of energy and excitement from supporters that I hadn’t seen in a local campaign, especially from people who aren’t always involved in the political process. From Garcia, I expect a pretty different campaign than what we have seen from others in the recent past.

That said, for perspective, Garcia’s fundraising abilities seem to be pretty awesome if one considers the first Annise Parker campaign in 2009 raised about $800,000 in a period of five months. Garcia’s campaign calls it unprecedented in Harris County. I’m not surprised that he could do it given the energy that is backing him up, but I think I did let out a “¡Hijole!” when I read the press release. Or something like that.

Garcia’s campaign is quick to point out that he basically started from zero in the fundraising department and that he did not transfer any money from his Sheriff’s campaign account. As the Garcia campaign stated:

“We have always believed that Texas Ethics Commission rules and the City of Houston’s campaign finance laws were clear that it is inappropriate to raise money into an account for a different office with the intent to transfer those funds into a city campaign account.  We saw this recently in San Antonio when Leticia Van De Putte ultimately decided not to transfer funds from her lieutenant governor’s campaign account into her mayoral campaign account.”

As some will recall, Garcia opponent, Sylvester Turner went on a fundraising frenzy during his re-election campaign for State Representative and it is known that he will be transferring as much of the million dollars in his legislative account into his mayoral campaign account as possible. It is what it is, I guess.

Obviously, I’m looking forward to the actual report, but I am told that in-kind contributions to Garcia were minimal considering that we’re talking seven figures in total contributions. So, we await the press releases and finance reports from everyone else in the race. I can’t say I’m a fan of money races in politics, but, as they say, “money isn’t everything in a campaign, but it helps.”

KHOU 2015 Mayoral Poll Has Some Interesting Results

adrianpicNot surprisingly, the first poll of the 2015 Mayoral race has Sylvester Turner (16%) and  Adrian Garcia (12%) leading among likely voters. Because I’ve always thought that the entry of Adrian Garcia would change the dynamic of Hispanic voter participation, I was not surprised to see that among registered voters, with a larger sample of Hispanics, Garcia is in the lead 15% to 13%. In other words, because of Garcia’s entry, I’d put some weight on increased Hispanic participation in 2015 and voters who don’t usually participate. Wishful thinking on my part? Perhaps, but I don’t think of Adrian Garcia as an LVdP type of candidate–for those who want to make comparisons to San Antonio. In other news, KHOU reported on Wednesday night that among Anglo voters, Garcia held a 13% to 9% edge on Turner, which made the results all the more interesting.

turnerFor those who are surprised at the Garcia result, they must look beyond the usual Democratic club meetings and Dem activist Facebook posts, where there was much more animosity toward Garcia for his decision to run for Mayor. Perhaps a higher GOP sample may provide conservative candidates like King and Costello some higher numbers, and, in time, Republicans will find out who their “R” candidate is. This is just the first poll. Things will look different in the future.

Of course, there is the matter of name recognition. That Chris Bell is in third place in the poll shouldn’t be a surprise as he’s run locally and statewide. If indeed Democrats were oversampled, then that may be why Bell polled at 8% in the likely voter category. But among registered voters, he only polled at 4%, as did Stephen Costello (2% of likelies). Perhaps money and TV ads will help in this regard.

The polling questions on issues tell us that Houstonians like the direction Houston is heading, that they still like Mayor Parker, that they don’t want a sales tax increase or tax dollars spent on the Astrodome, but that they do want their traffic and roads fixed. Given these results, it may be that voters are looking for a positive, unifying figure, rather than an angry, blaming one–even with a higher GOP sample. Certainly, we can’t go by the opinions of non-Houstonians who comment in the Chronicle, right?

Perhaps we will see campaigns bolstering their messages, while others change them altogether. Or, the attacks may begin in some attempt to gain traction or attract the 50%+ who have not yet decided. Certainly, the results of the poll will be cause for concern for some in the check-writing-class of our local democratic system. Here’s hoping for a continually educative process, rather than one filled with negativity.

At least, that’s my take on this day.

Polls, as they as say, are just polls. Usually not the best measure of a race, but a measure nonetheless, they are still a snapshot from which to move forward. For me, at least, the poll did wake me up with the hopes of a more exciting summer.

PDiddie and Coby have their takes. Kuff has an excellent take, too.

Stay connected!

Garcia Makes It Official, Is Running for Mayor

adrianpicLongtime lawman and public servant Adrian Garcia finally answered the question on Wednesday:  Will he, or won’t he? He will run for Houston Mayor, Garcia announced before dozens of friends and family members at the Lindale Park Community Center located in the Northside where he resides.

Stating he’s the candidate who can balance a budget, save taxpayers millions, and protect Houston families, Garcia added, “We commit to enhancing a quality of life that benefits everyone, from the wealthiest to the humblest, but never ignoring one for the other.”

In a speech in which he credited much to his wife and family, he reminded folks of what he was taught when he was young.

“I have done what my parents taught me to do years ago, and that is to simply work hard and do a good job”

Talking with several of his supporters, the one word that all agreed this campaign would be is tough, but that with their hard work and determination Garcia can come out victorious in the end.

Frankly, I’m glad he’s in the race, despite any concerns about a new right-wing Sheriff I might have. Bottom line, he was forced to resign, while others in the running get to keep their elected positions. Garcia in the race could add some excitement, as well as some ánimo to the electorate for a real discussion on the issues. I think Kuff just said something similar. Great minds!

It’s no secret, I’ve been critical of Garcia in the past, but he’s also served the community well all these years. I’m no one-issue voter; if so, I’d show up and not vote for any of them, right? So, let’s keep an eye on this race. Enjoy!

Update:  Holy mole , my buddy David Ortez was also at the announcement.

Video of part of stump in Spanish.

Bell Announces for Mayor

The thing about being the first out of the chute is that you get some press and you get an opportunity at a first strike against your opponents. Chris Bell announced for Houston Mayor today, as reported by the Chron, and, along with promises to fix streets and traffic lights, is trying to get ahead of any criticism that might be thrown his way.

“I know my competitors will do their best to try and define me. They might even talk about some of the political races that I have run and lost,” Bell, 55, said. “And that’s fair game – because if it’s necessary, I’ll talk about the races they’ve run and lost.”

Really, if all the candidates try to do is protect their legacies and define others’ legacies, then the 2015 campaign will have been a waste. Instead, let’s get the voters interested in actually showing up in November (and December). Let’s hope the Chron and their writers don’t try to define the candidates based on win/loss records; instead, helping to highlight the discussion of ideas.

Anyway, that’s one down. Who’s next?

 

Chris Bell to Announce for Mayor on Sunday

Chris Bell, former Congressman and Houston City Council Member, is set to announce his candidacy for Houston Mayor on Sunday afternoon. This will be Bell’s second run for the post (last run was 15 years ago) and he’ll become the second progressive-leaning candidate to announce a run in what will likely be a crowded field.

This is a serious election. Folks should get to know their candidates, so, here’s an opportunity to learn about one of them.

City of Houston Final Filings 2013

The final filings are up! Click on the link and you will find your list of individuals who filed for either Houston Mayor, City Controller, or City Council. The Chron has more if you pay, or this handy chart.

Mayor Annise Parker will need to fend off nine opponents. Hopefully, she can be done in Round 1, although, that doesn’t mean we won’t have a run-off election for other races in December if she is done. Also, City Controller Ronald Green will need to fend off one opponent.

Possible Overtime

District D has twelve candidates vying for outgoing Council Member Wanda Adams’ current seat. There is little doubt that this one will end up in overtime. Although there are some good names on the list, my favorite is Christina Sanders (website).

District I seems to have ended up with the four who have been campaigning: Mendez, Gallegos, Garces, and the Republican. This one has the strong possibility of ending up in a run-off. District I is usually considered a low turnout race, which could bode well for a lone right-wing-fringe candidate; however, this time around there is no incumbent to run against, so, if Mendez, Gallegos, and Garces keep putting a good dose of energy into the race, it could just end up being a run-off amongst two of those three. It’s all about turn-out.

At-Large 2 will have four candidates; however, only the incumbent (Andrew Burks) and challenger David Robinson have drawn some attention. While both of these candidates trend more Democratic, the remaining candidates are more representative of the other side of the spectrum. That said, I would say the possibility of a run-off is only slight, if at all.

At-Large 3 is destined for a run-off with six candidates. One other right-winger announced he was dropping out, leaving Dem-leaning candidates Rogene Calvert, Roland Chavez, and Jenifer Rene Pool against anti-Parker Republican Michael Kubosh, right-winger Roy Morales, and a perennial candidate. Who will end up in overtime? My hope is that two of the three Dems will end up in the run-off. But if it is one of them against one of the right-wingers, then it seems there is definitely some competition for the right-wing spot. Morales probably has the most name ID of the two, but Kubosh has more of an ability to purchase some name ID to add to what he has earned from his anti-Parker, anti-red light camera rhetoric. Meanwhile, I’m still trying to decide between the Dem-leaning candidates.

District A is District A, I guess. Four candidates challenge the incumbent, Helena Brown.

The Other Races

In District J, it looks like I get to keep Mike Laster (unopposed). That’s a good thing. District C’s Ellen Cohen, though, drew one opponent, according to the Chron.

Dave Martin, Ed Gonzalez and Larry Green will win Districts E, H and K, respectively–or at least they didn’t get any opponents.

I sure am glad I have a choice in At-Large 5, now that James Horwitz is in the running (a third candidate signed up,too) against Jack Christie, but the final hour filings have At-Large 4’s Brad Bradford earning himself some competition from former HISD Construction Manager Issa Dadoush. Likewise, At-Large 1’s Stephen Costello will need to fend off Griff Griffin to earn another term.

Update:  Campos points to Dadoush listing a Pasadena address. Apparently, he’s registered to vote in Pasadena’s City Council District H, too, according to Harris County. So, is it Congrats, Chief?

Rounding off the City ballot, District B incumbent Jerry Davis drew three opponents, while District F’s Al Hoang and District G’s Oliver Pennington each drew one opponent.

So, hopefully, all of the updates and corrections have been made at this point. From now on, it’s a sprint to the end of Round 1.

Update:  Kuff has more, as done Texpate.