Wednesday, November 06, 2013

To upsets, and more voting next month

In City Council District A, Councilwoman Helena Brown will face another runoff showdown against Brenda Stardig, whom she unseated in an upset two years ago in the conservative westside district.

Round 2 in Oak Forest should be fun to watch, as it was last time. I think TeaBagger Brown can rally hers better than Barfly Brenda, just like two years ago. But they'll be pulling hair and clawing each other with their fake nails for another month, and that will be the real show.

In District D, Dwight Boykins earned a spot in a runoff with Georgia Provost.

Durrel at New Texas Media missed it on the mayor's race, but called it long ago in D. Once again we see that evaluating the viability of candidates on the basis of fundraising is a fool's errand, as he blew it on Boykins' runoff opponent.  (I don't repeat this over and over because it's incorrect.)  I'm going to trust his instincts in this December rematch, though; find his blog in the right hand sidebar.

In District F, Richard Nguyen ousted incumbent Al Hoang in a close contest.

Very surprising. Nguyen's primary voting history wasn't much less Republican than Hoang's (he skipped the GOP primary in 2012) so his close win suggests some constituent dissatisfaction with the incumbent. Here's Little Saigon Inside with a take.

Al Hoang was elected in 2009 and has a three-term limit of 2 years each. The Vietnamese-American voters voted for him based on his strong anti-communist rhetoric.

After taking office, he immediately wrapped himself in controversy with his open overture to the communist government in Vietnam. He went to Vietnam on "special economic development visits" and met with high officials including the president of Vietnam. His close relationship with various officials at the Vietnam Consulate in Houston is viewed with disdain by the anti-communist groups in Houston. He is also in a legal fight with various factions of the community about his handling of the community's fund designated for Vietnamese-American community center.

To his supporters, Al Hoang visiting Vietnam or dealing with Vietnamese officials are part of his duty on a special economic development committee for Houston. These activities have nothing to do with his view against the communist government in Vietnam. Nevertheless, the extreme anti-communist folks in Houston decided that they had enough of Al Hoang and recruited a political novice, Richard Nguyen, to run against Hoang. Al Hoang was running unopposed until a couple of months ago.

District F has a population of 185,000 people composed of 42% Hispanic, 23% Black, 15% White and 16% Asian. Vietnamese-American population in Houston is about 38,000 people and roughly half live in District F. Historically, in the last two elections (2009 and 2011), there were less than 5,000 people who voted.

So what are Richard Nguyen's chances? The Viet voters' high turnout alone would be close to 5,000 people.

Richard Nguyen is a controversial person himself and the people supporting him are not well-liked by the community. He once campaigned for another city council candidate, Nguyen thai Hoc, who actually lost the race to Al Hoang in 2009.

Don't miss their wrapup, either. (I corrected some of the grammar in the above, as it is written by an ESL writer, but that shouldn't detract from the insights into the too-often-overlooked Vietnamese community in Houston.)

In the hotly contested District I, which has no incumbent, Graci Garcés earned a spot in a runoff with Robert Gallegos, who bested Ben Mendez by a mere 20 votes in complete but unofficial returns.

Expect more crowing about this race from Campos. Nothing as this publishes; he must be sleeping off a hangover.

I summarized AL 2 and AL 3 last night, so let's sample Kuff here for some analysis.

In At Large #3, Michael Kubosh led the field with 28% in Harris and a 42% plurality in Fort Bend. He will square off against Roy Morales, who snuck his way into the runoff ahead of Jenifer Pool and Rogene Calvert, who had about the same number of votes each. The four Democratic candidates combined for 54% of the vote in this race, but the distribution was sufficiently tight that it allowed the two Republicans to finish in the money, not unlike District C in 2005.

Democrats: Stop doing this.  It's costing you seats on council.

1 comment:

Elderlady said...

Those of us who live in District "I" now have to choose... between a corporate Democrat endorsed by Carol Alvarado, and a corporate Democrat endorsed by Sylvia Garcia.

Lucky Us.