Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Post time for Houston's city elections

Yesterday was the filing deadline, and first via Kuff, here is your lineup card for November 3rd.  Stace has some thoughts on who he prefers, and we are in general agreement.  Here's the Chron story, focusing more on council elections and reactions from people like Bob Stein and Dr. Richard Murray at U of H.

A total of thirteen mayoral hopefuls, and this post will shine a brief spotlight on the seven with little chance of influencing the race, much less making the runoff.

Marty McVey belongs among these also-rans, despite his many forum appearances with the big six, and even despite his fairly progressive platform.  He's just out of his league in this contest, despite good effort and intentions.

Aubrey Taylor's blog has spent a lot of pixels promoting the candidacy of Victoria Lane, who is running on an anti-HERO platform.  Lane and Demetria Smith -- whom you may recall as the candidate initially excluded from the TOP/SEIU forum last month, until her supporters demanded and got a place for her on the dais -- stand as the two people who could draw off enough votes to keep Ben Hall from making the runoff.  Taylor is your go-to guy for all things African American, socially conservative, and those who wish to appeal to that caucus.  (Taylor has also performed the courtesy of reminding us which members of City Council voted for or against the ordinance earlier this year.  You should expect some races to turn on that vote, as well as some candidates' stands on the issue.  More on that when I get to city council races in a future post.)

By contrast, I would not expect Rafael Munoz nor Joe Ferreira to pull many votes away from Adrian Garcia, by virtue of either their Latino surnames nor their low-profile candidacies.  So unlike Hall -- and all the many other Af-Am candidates on the ballot, a factor which should boost turnout in those precincts around the city -- either Garcia's "community will turn out in historic numbers" for him... or they won't.

Of the remaining long shots, Thai Hoc Nguyen is a conservative Republican who lost to former Council member Al Hoang in 2009 in District F -- who himself was upset in 2013 by incumbent Richard Nguyen (no relation), and Dale Steffes is a perennial candidate who, in the words of Texas Monthly's Greg Curtis (in 1999) is "a maverick oil-price prognosticator who now runs his consulting business out of his home".  He's more favorably and recently quoted in this story.  Nothing obvious about his political inclinations, but I'd be interested in his forecast for crude prices.

The next mayor of Houston will still come down to two of Garcia, Hall, Bill King, Steven Costello, Chris Bell, and Sylvester Turner, and ultimately determined in December.

We'll take a look at the the At-Large races next.

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