Sylvester Turner will run for Mayor

KRIV reports that Sylvester Turner, a longtime State Representative, will run for Mayor of Houston in 2015. Turner has run for Mayor twice before, in 1991 and 2003. While he finished in a distant third place in 2003, he proceeded into a very close runoff election during his first run. In that race, he lost in a squeaker to Bob Lanier after Wayne Dolcefino ran a slimy expose based on utter falsehoods. Turner later sued Dolcefino for libel, but that is neither here nor there. My point is that if you think of Sylvester Turner with preconceived notions of alleged wrongdoing, you are totally incorrect.

In the 22 years since then (30 years total, in the House), Turner has truly become a force to be reckoned with on the State Legislature. He currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the House Appropriations Committee (the ranking Democrat) and is one of the biggest leaders among the minority party in the Capitol. Instrumental in the passage of a massive water-infrastructure constitutional amendment this past session, he earned a spot on Texpatriate’s list of Best Legislators.¬†Texas Monthly¬†also noted his massive contribution to the session by naming him the Bull of the Brazos.

Click here to read Turner’s announcement!

Wendy Davis and the press

The San Antonio Express-News reports that there are some growing hostilities between the Wendy Davis camp and the Capitol Press Corps. Specifically, following a speech given at a Travis County Democratic Party event, it was revealed that Davis’ campaign had shut out reporters from every publication except for the Texas Tribune. David Rauf, a reporter for the Texas Hearst papers (Houston Chronicle and San Antonio Express-News), later took to twitter in order to both confront the party and evidently blow off some steam.

You can read the article for yourself, including all the tweets referenced, it is a bit entertaining. Essentially, the controversial revolves the blatant favoritism at play when one media outlet gets exclusive rights to cover a story. It is very amateurish for a campaign, and continues to paint a murky picture for Davis’ chances. The cliched response I have seen on a plethora of social media sites in response to this is that Davis should be running to reporters, rather than away, especially with all this favoritism at play. Another commentator noted how silly it was that Wendy Davis –who could defend herself competently in front of the entire Republican machine for twelve hours last June– could not be more open and available to the media.

Click here to read more!

It’s 2014, not 2015…

…but that has not stopped pundits from prognosticating as if it were.

The Houston Chronicle reports that posturing for the 2015 Mayoral election has already begun. Among the candidates mentioned are State Representative Sylvester Turner (who previously ran in both 1991 and 2003) and former Congressman Chris Bell (who ran in 2001). The article insinuates both have declared intentions to run, though this is the first I have heard of any of it. The article also mentions Councilmembers Stephen Costello (who evidently has announced intentions himself), Ed Gonzalez and Oliver Pennington as all looking at the race.

Names the Chronicle left off include former Councilmember Sue Lovell, Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Eric Dick. The last one in particular has the capacity to play the role of a major spoiler in the election and could ultimately determine whether someone such as Costello could even get into the runoff in the first place. There are also those who will probably not be running, such as Ben Hall or now-former City Councilmember James Rodriguez, City Controller Ronald Green and Councilmember C.O. Bradford.

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Texpatriate: Why Ben Hall lost

Note: The following Editorial was written wholly by Noah M. Horwitz.

Longtime readers of this blog will remember that I was no fan of Annise Parker’s first term. The Mayor tried to continue in her predecessor’s style of moderation and consensus-building. However, for whatever reason, Parker was not very successful down this path. Whether one attributes this to her leadership style or outside variables such as the economy, Parker was only able to cobble together a bare coalition of the middle that garnered her a mere 50.8% in her 2011 re-election.

Accordingly, Parker was very vulnerable as the clock ticked towards the 2013 election. While her shift to the left in her second term carried favor with individuals such as myself, it decimated her support amongst Republicans/Conservatives. Continued policies of limited austerity, as well as an asinine ordinance criminalizing giving food to the homeless, caused many Democrats/Liberals to lend only unenthusiastic support.

City Councilmember C.O. Bradford, an unabashed critic of the Mayor in recent years, was seen as an ideal opponent who would have brought a real chance of defeat to Parker. Instead of Bradford, Parker’s main opponent ended up being Ben Hall, a former City Attorney in the 90s. Hall briefly flirted with the idea of running for Mayor in 2009, but ultimately dropped out and supported Gene Locke (Locke, like Hall, was a City Attorney under Mayor Bob Lanier).

On paper, Hall was the perfect candidate; the kind that would cause Mayor Parker to shake in her shoes. Experienced both at City Hall and in the private sector, Hall had unique perspective as neither a career politician nor a political novice. A moderate, African-American Democrat, Hall was in a unique position to attract the constituencies needed to defeat Parker. Also, Hall is excessively wealthy and articulate. So how did Hall barely win under 30% of the vote? The answer, simply put, is that he ran one of the worse campaigns I have ever seen.

Click here to read more!

2013 results and analysis

We’re working on trying to abridge the hours and hours of livestreamed Texpatriate election return coverage into about 20 minutes of the top hits. Yesterday, our all-time view record was demolished as thousands of people appeared to come to our website to read up on candidates before they voted. Additionally, Richard Nguyen, the victor in District F, had little impact on the internet besides his interview with Texpatriate.

First and foremost, Mayor Annise Parker was decisively re-elected to a third and final term as Mayor of Houston. She cruised to over 57% of the vote, far outpacing the amount of the vote she received in 2011. Meanwhile, Controller Ronald Green also was re-elected, albeit by a much smaller margin. The only surprises amongst City Council races were in At-large 3 and District F, respectively. Otherwise, most incumbents cruised to re-election.

All nine Statewide propositions passed, as did Harris County Proposition 1 (the joint processing center/jail). The Astrodome referendum, however, did not pass, as the iconic 8th Wonder of the World now looks condemned to demolition.

Click here to see full results and read more!

President Obama endorses Parker

Texpatriate has learned that President Barack Obama has endorsed Annise Parker for a third term as Mayor of Houston. The last minute endorsement comes on the heels of another big-time Democrat, Mayor Julian Castro of San Antonio, announcing his support for Parker. The support will be sure to attract increased support in the African-American community, though one must wonder how effective it will be after two full weeks of early voting wherein the majority of the electorate has most likely already cast ballots.

Obama’s last minute nod into the election reeked of similarity to low-effort selections he has made in other major city’s Mayoral races, most notably New York City. However, New York holds partisan Mayoral elections, wherein President Obama simply supported the Democratic candidate. However, in the non-partisan Houston election, the race consists of two frontrunners who are ostensibly both Democrats. However, challenger Ben Hall has recently taken some bizarre positions seemingly inconsistent with Democratic values, most notably a homophobic opposition to a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance. President Obama has shown, for all intent and purposes, this is a typical election with one Democrat. And that Democrat is Annise Parker.

Click here to read the President’s words on Parker!

Parker selected for White House Task Force

USA Today reports that President Obama has issued an Executive Order to begin combating the dangers and effects of climate change. The order creates the “Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience,” which will “advise the Administration on how the Federal Government can respond to the needs of communities nationwide that are dealing with the impacts of climate change.” The task force is made up of State, Local and Tribal leaders from around the country, 26 in all.

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Among those local officials is Mayor Annise Parker. I didn’t actually get the press release from the City of Houston, but quickly found it on the government’s website. The Mayor’s office discussed all the green initiatives the City has been doing recently, including becoming the largest municipal purchaser of renewable energy.

Click here to read Parker’s statement as well as implications for the Mayoral election!