About a week ago, the Chronicle fielded its first two municipal endorsements: in District D and the Controller’s race. In the days since, the paper has made selections in seven more races, including three bitterly contested contests, not the least of which is the Mayoral election.
First, the Chronicle endorsed Jerry Davis for re-election in District B, much similar to the Texpatriate Editorial Board’s decision a couple weeks ago. The rationale was somewhat similar, a decision that Councilmember Davis had done a good job in office and should not be replaced without a good reason–one of which was not present.
Next, the paper endorsed Oliver Pennington for re-election in District G, again just as Texpatriate had earlier. The editorial, however, was painfully short on details, and seemed to be lacking a real reason to vote for Councilmember Pennington besides his incumbency. Typically, the Chronicle tries to avoid this.
The paper also continued to lob easy endorsements, such as Al Hoang for District F and Stephen Costello for At-large position #1. Texpatriate made the same recommendations, (Hoang and Costello, respectively) once again. This alignment should not be all that surprising, as all of these individuals are running with very little opposition. Accordingly, nearly everyone making endorsements will come to this conclusion.
The Chronicle then moved onto more challenging selections. First, in District A, the paper chose Brenda Stardig. The publication also specifically singled out the candidacy of Mike Knox, complimenting his candidacy but lambasting him on pensions (specifically, the Chronicle’s manic fixation on “meet-and-confer”) and term limits. As the astute will remember, Texpatriate did not officially endorse in that race, and the Editorial Board members individually endorsed both Stardig and Amy Peck. While I was one of the members who ultimately selected Peck, I have a great deal of respect for Stardig and may very well see myself supporting her in the District’s inevitable runoff election.
Going onto At-large position #2, the Chronicle endorsed David Robinson. The endorsement was a forthcoming look at possible future endorsements, as it set a precedent of choosing a challenger in an election where the incumbent has a decently good chance of winning. The Chronicle focused mainly upon Robinson’s outstanding credentials as a member of many boards and commissions for the City over the years, as well as his service for neighborhood councils. The paper took one shot at Councilmember Burks, berating him for his interrogations of constituents at City Council meetings.
That leaves us with the motherload of endorsements: the Mayoral election. After all, since Ben Hall boycotted the editorial board screening, it should not be a surprise. What was a surprise in the Chronicle’s endorsement of Annise Parker, however, was not a single mention of her opponent. Not one utterance of the words “Ben Hall,” could be found in the editorial. Personally, I find that a little bit chicken. Considering all the poor press the Chronicle has been receiving from the far-right for being allegedly biased against Hall, they should not do anything that advances that rumor. Instead of a single focus on Parker’s opponent, the endorsement mainly hinged on some pet issues of the Chronicle, including the drainage tax, pensions and term limits.
This leaves three endorsements still to be decided by the Chronicle: At-large position #4, At-large position #5 and District I. Bradford’s selection in the former is a sure thing, but the other two are a little more tricky. There is a chance that no endorsement could be made whatsoever in the remaining elections, as they feature incumbents the Chronicle does not want to endorse without particularly angering. The fact that the Mayor’s endorsement came out so early, with nothing new being released today (Sunday, their biggest circulation day), makes me somewhat concerned that this is it.