Sunday, December 15, 2013

Incumbents bounced in H-Town

With voter turnout failing to reach 30,000, 37,000, a significant anti-incumbent sentiment ruled the day (and night).

Two Houston City Council incumbents and two incumbents on the Houston Community College board lost their seats Saturday, according to unofficial runoff election results.

With all precincts reporting, controversial first-term council incumbents Helena Brown, in northwest Houston's District A, and Andrew C. Burks Jr., in At-Large Position 2, fell to their challengers, as did HCC trustees Yolanda Navarro Flores and Herlinda Garcia.

Brown lost her rematch with Brenda Stardig, the incumbent she defeated to gain the seat two years ago.  [...]

Burks fell to challenger David W. Robinson, a civic leader and former city planning commissioner. Robinson raised far more campaign cash than did Burks, who had run unsuccessfully numerous times before winning his seat two years ago.  [...]

In the At-Large 3 runoff, bail bondsman and civic activist Michael Kubosh, best known for leading the charge against Houston's red-light cameras, topped former Harris County Department of Education trustee and former mayoral candidate Roy Morales.  [...]

In south Houston's District D, lobbyist Dwight Boykins bested businesswoman Georgia D. Provost. Boykins had thumped the 11 other candidates in fundraising heading into November. Term-limited District D Councilwoman Wanda Adams was elected to the Houston ISD board.

In a very low-turnout race in the East End's District I, Harris County jailer and civic activist Robert Gallegos beat Graci Garcés, who is chief of staff for the term-limited James Rodriguez.

Political analysts had pointed to a larger rivalry in the race, given that Gallegos served eight years as an aide to former eastside Harris County commissioner and now-state Sen. Sylvia Garcia, and that Garcés worked for former council member and now-State Rep. Carol Alvarado. Alvarado and Garcia waged a bitter campaign earlier this year for the post Garcia now holds. [...]

In the Houston Community College contests, District 1 incumbent Flores lost to challenger Zeph Capo, a vice president of the Houston Federation of Teachers. In District 3, Adriana Tamez, an education consultant, beat incumbent Garcia, who was appointed to the post after the resignation of the prior trustee. In the runoff for the open District 5 seat, businessman Robert Glaser topped commercial real estate agent Phil Kunetka.

Sorry about all those ellipses; I'm just not as fond of Mark Jones' opinion as the Chron is.  But he does get one thing right: the Sylvia Garcia-Carol Alvarado dynamic is now the one to watch in the East End (Sylvia's team is 2-0).  Who aligns with whom in the future may make the biggest difference in who wins, which is far more interesting than seeing who raised the most money.  But the worst news is that some of these downballot races didn't have 5000 votes in total cast in them.  Positively dismal.

Noah live-blogged the evening and has the vote tallies by race as Clerk Stanart slowly managed to get them counted  -- an hour after polls close before the EV comes in ?!? -- so you can see that the largest trend that Election Day reversed was Capo's win in the HCC 1 contest.

No disrespect intended to tonight's victors, but if Mayor Parker just traded Helena Brown for Michael Kubosh, then there are no real winners or losers.  But if you look it as Melissa Noriega traded for Kubosh...

1 comment:

Katy Anders said...

I hate to rejoice over someone having a bad day, but Helena Brown's fall is a good thing, in my opinion. Our own little wannabe Ron Paul without the intelligence, education, or charisma.

On the downside, who is going to fill her role shouting "What about Greece? Has anyone thought about Greece?" when money is being spent on roads or firetrucks now?