Brains & Eggs reports, via a confidential source, that all the Mayoral candidates met in a smoke-filled room and hammered out a tentative deal on Mayoral debates: Just one, including all candidates. In other words, exactly what Mayor Parker wanted. B&E continues, enumerating the conditions of the debate and such:
This past week a meeting was held to negotiate a mayoral candidates’ debate among the seven declared candidates running for Mayor of the City of Houston. This debate will take place on October 8, 2013, at 7:00 pm. It is to be sponsored by the Bethel Family Church Empowerment Center. The debate will take place at Willowridge High School, 16301 Chimney Rock, and Houston media will be invited to cover it.
—Candidates and/or campaign staff from seven campaigns were invited to the meeting: Don Cook, Eric Dick, Keryl Douglas, Michael Fitzsimmons, Ben Hall, Victoria Lane, and Annise Parker. Two candidates (Douglas and Fitzsimmons) were not present and were not represented by any of their staff at the meeting.—Judging from the intensity of the negotiations, it seems unlikely that there will be more than one scheduled debate, at least one that includes all of the candidates.—It was proposed that any subsequent candidates other than the seven already identified should be excluded from debating. In the discussion that followed, most participants seemed to feel that the elimination of any later candidates who were “not viable” or “not serious” because they had not declared early enough or not raised enough money was appropriate.
—It was agreed that a drawing would take place ten minutes prior to the event with all candidates present to determine the order of candidates’ initial statements, and opening remarks would be 90 seconds each (in a fifteen-minute window). Thirty minutes was allotted for the debate itself and a total of ten minutes for candidate closing statements.