Friday, October 21, 2011

Your voter's guide for November 8, 2011 Part 4: the rest

Controller: Ronald Green

Green is unopposed. He succeeded Annise Parker two years ago -- moving up from city council's at large #4 slot to assume management of the city's books -- and like Parker before him, keeps a low profile in the position. He probably has designs on higher office when he's term-limited out in 2015; until then he shouldn't make much news to speak of. Anticipate a run for Congress or the statehouse in 2016.

District B: No endorsement

No agenda here; I simply don't know any of the candidates well enough to endorse one. Of the eight contestants in line to replace Jarvis Johnson, only Charles Ingram is listed as a sustaining member of the HCDP and his website's homepage still says "under construction" (the link to his bio there is functional but nearly nothing else; the links to his Facebook page and Twitter feed likewise inoperable). I've received e-mail invitations to events from Kathy Blueford Daniels and Phillip Paul Bryant (from the D-MARS listserv) but haven't gotten to any of them. Bryan Smart has an introduction video but nothing else. Alvin Byrd worked in constituent services for former councilman Johnson.

Jerry Davis co-owns the popular Breakfast Klub restaurant (have the wings and waffles) and thus may share the highest community profile with Byrd. Two candidates, James Joseph and Kenneth Perkins, list no website; just a Hotmail e-address.

All except Perkins, Smart, and Davis have recent Democratic primary voting histories (none are Republicans). Bryant, Byrd, and Davis seem to have the most professional campaign organizations, online and off.

Here's three videos, one from "Red, White, and Blue" discussing the race with Garnet Coleman and Houston Defender publisher Sonceria Messiah-Jiles, one of the debate between candidates sponsored by the LWV, and the third is Jones and Polland's take on that.

With a slate of eight and three appearing to hold the higher profiles, expect a runoff. I'll examine the two remaining candidates closer in that event.

District E, District G: No endorsement

Mike Sullivan is unopposed and Oliver Pennington has token opposition in Clyde Bryan (no website). All are Republicans. I'll pass.

District H: Ed Gonzalez District I: James Rodriguez

Councilmen Gonzalez and Rodriguez likewise have token opposition to their re-election and should be returned to council.

District J: Mike Laster

Like Karen Derr in C, Laster should have already been elected to council in 2009. He lost a runoff two years ago in District F to Al Hoang, a tragic error on the part of Houston's voters. But we get a make-good, as we do with Derr.

J is one of the two new districts added this year as a result of the 2010 Census pushing Houston's population over two million and change. The Sharpstown area, carved away from F, should be competitive for a Latino candidate ... but there are two -- Rodrigo Cañedo and Criselda Romero -- and they are going to split that voting bloc. It certainly isn't the case that Cañedo and Romero are not well-qualified to serve on council; Rodrigo helps run the family's small business while Criselda served in Councilman Ed Gonzalez' office. All three have Democratic primary voting histories, with Laster the sole sustaining member of the HCDP.

If I'm wrong and the district goes to a runoff -- without or without Laster -- then it's anybody's game.

That's it for the municipal politicos; I'll have some thoughts on the down-ballot educational races in a later posting. *I did not find time to get to these. Here are Stand for Children's endorsements for HISD board and the Chron's endorsement for Houston Community College trustee.

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