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!

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Texpatriate endorses in At-large position #4

When this board first met one another in 2009, we spent many a night at City Hall comparing our choices in the upcoming Municipal election. The open election that year in At-large position #4 saw two qualified Democrats run for the office, including C.O. Bradford. In the four years since taking office, this board has continued time and time again to be impressed with Councilmember Bradford’s integrity, service and dedication to his office.

This board’s first interaction with Councilmember Bradford, likewise, came well before the creation of Texpatriate. In December 2009, the Mayor’s Youth Council, of which the members of this board were all members, hosted a town hall event at a local high schools pertaining to juveniles issues.

Bradford, who was still a Councilmember-elect at the time, was one of the main panelists at the event. Among the dozens of Municipal officials contacted for this event, Bradford remained the only one to return the calls of this board. He diligently answered questions on the topic at hand, and met with people regarding their concerns.

At the time, this board believed that it was possible that Bradford had simply not yet developed the unfortunate sanctimonious attitude prevalent among many officeholders in politics. However, we were soon proven wrong, as the genuineness of Bradford did not decrease upon taking office. Rather, this board has observed him taking many steps to remain connected with his constituents and true to their concerns.

Upon commencement of Bradford’s second term, he was given the lucrative title of Vice-Mayor Pro Tem. However, this has not stopped him from continuing to do what is right, despite who he opposes. In 2012, Councilmember Bradford was the only Democratic member of the Houston City Council to vote against an asinine, punitive measure that criminalized giving food to the homeless. Bradford embodied the views of his constituency, that was opposed by many otherwise progressive individuals, including the members of this board.

The Vice-Mayor Pro Tem has also fought for far less controversial items, such as expanding much needed property tax relief for seniors. Additionally, this board was very pleased when Bradford recently spoke out in favor of a comprehensive non-discrimination ordinance protecting the LGBT community.

The only other candidate for this office is Issa Dadoush. In this board’s interview with Dadoush earlier this month, he repeatedly stated that “my campaign is not about the incumbent.”This board finds such a statement to be a whimpering equivocation systemic of a campaign that lack substance. While this board believes Dadoush brought up some good points about how to run the City’s utilities, we believe that, in campaigns involving incumbents, the election serves as a referendum on the incumbent’s record. If the challenger fails or declines to show how the incumbent may have failed, it is the responsibility of the voter to determine this on her or his own.

This board, however, finds that Councilmember Bradford has done a truly superb job in his four years on the City Council. While he often opposes the Mayor’s administration, often on issues we disagree with him about in part, he always does so respectfully and pragmatically. These are among the best features one looks towards in a public servant.

Accordingly, this board endorses C.O. Bradford for another term on the Houston City Council, At-large position #4.

The Texpatriate Editorial Board consists of Olivia Arena of Austin, George Bailey & Noah M. Horwitz of Boston and Andrew Scott Romo of New Orleans.

Texpatriate’s Questions for Issa Dadoush

Editorial note: This is the sixteenth in our series of electronic interviews with City Council, City Controller and Mayoral candidates. We have sent 10 questions based on seven different templates: (1) incumbent City Council, (2) challenger City Council, (3) open seat City Council, (4) challenger Controller, (5) incumbent Controller, (6) challenger Mayoral and (7) incumbent Mayoral. The following are verbatim copies of the questions sent out and the answers received.

Issa Dadoush, Candidate for the Houston City Council at-large Position #4

Texpatriate: What is your name?
ID: Issa Dadoush

T: What is your current occupation?
ID: Professional Engineer

T: Have you run for or held public office before?
ID: No

T: What is your political affiliation? We understand that City Council elections are nonpartisan, but this is a point many voters find important. If you are not comfortable currently identifying with a political party, what was the last Political Party’s primary election you voted in (a matter of public record)?
ID: Republican Party

T: Typically, this board will defer to incumbents unless we are convinced the incumbent has failed in some way. Do you believe the incumbent has failed at her or his job? If so, why?
ID: My campaign is not about the incumbents. I am running for City Council At Large Position 4 to bring to Local Government what I so desperately have looked for in our leaders: open transparent government, a true representative body that listens to constituents and makes decisions in terms of what is best for Houston and the Community at Large.

T: Why are you specifically running against this incumbent?
ID: My campaign is not about the incumbent. I want to give Houston a choice.

T: What do you hope to get out of serving on the City Council?
ID: I desire for Houston to be the City of Choice where the next generation’s workforce is provided the best education, required training, and development to allow for a robust sustainable growth.

I see Houston’s elected officials (Mayor and City Council) as Board of Directors of a multi-billion dollar corporation that provides water, sewer, infrastructure, and public safety services to the Houston Community at large. It is their responsibility to eliminate/reduce regulations and policies that hinder growth. I am a firm believer in small local government with fewer regulations that allows the highly efficient private sector to grow at a faster rate and create more jobs for Houston’s growing economy.

T: What is an ordinance you would introduce in your next term?
ID: The City of Houston has a strong Mayor form of Mayor–Council government. The Mayor sets the agenda and introduces ordinances. Accordingly, I want to work with the Mayor and make sure that any ordinances presented to the City Council for approval truly represent the public interest and not special interest groups. Again, I will bring new leadership to City Government that is not attached to special interest groups. I want to be the true “People’s Candidate”

T: Obviously, an officeholder strives to maintain a diverse core constituency and political base, but all candidates have interest groups they have been traditionally strong with and traditionally weak with, respectively. For you, what would be one example of each type of group?
ID: I am a firm believer in diverse core constituency and political base that are aligned with my core values. For example, I am a pro-life Republican that holds family values as the core of who I am.

T: What has been the most important thing you have learned in your campaign?
ID: Be a listener and a leader.  I want to bring new leadership to City Government that is NOT attached to special interest groups. I want to be the true “People’s Candidate”.