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2011 Houston results

Let’s go through the races…

– Mayor Parker won with a shade under 51%, with none of her opponents cracking 15% on their own. Obviously, this is not a position a Mayor with no serious opposition wants to be in, and it won’t surprise anyone if one or more potential opponents for 2013 are on the phone already calling potential financial backers. It’s certainly possible, perhaps likely, that she will face a much tougher challenge in two years. It’s also possible, given a better economy, a less dire budget, and fewer externally-driven issues like a red light camera referendum, that she could be in a stronger position for re-election in two years and that the time to have beaten her was now. Many people thought Rick Perry looked vulnerable after winning with 39% of the vote in 2006, but things don’t always go as you think they will. Often uncertain the future is, that’s all I’m saying.

– Brenda Stardig trailed Helena Brown in District A by 479 votes. She and Jolanda Jones, who led Jack Christie by about 6700 votes, will be headed to a runoff. All other incumbents won majorities, with CM Stephen Costello having the closest race but winning with 51.2%. So much for the anti-Renew Houston slate.

– Only two of the five open seats will feature runoffs. Ellen Cohen in C (53.62%), Mike Laster in J (67.27%), and Larry Green in District K (67.23%) all won. Alvin Byrd (25.11%) and Jerry Davis (24.38%) head to overtime in District B, while the perennially perennial Andrew Burks led the field in At Large #2, garnering 17.33%. Kristi Thibaut came in second, with 15.65%, followed by Elizabeth Perez and David Robinson. This is at least the third time Burks has made it to a city election runoff – he lost to Sue Lovell in overtime in 2009 – and I wonder if he will get any official support. Being in a runoff with Jolanda Jones and a District B race also on the ballot will help him, but beyond that it’s hard to see him doing much of anything. You have to wonder what Michael P. Williams is thinking this morning. Oh, and Eric Dick finished seventh out of ten. Apparently, it takes more than spreading campaign signs like grass seed and putting out puerile press releases to win public office. Good to know.

– Paula Harris and Juliet Stipeche easily won re-election in HISD, as did Chris Oliver in HCC. Carroll Robinson defeated Jew Don Boney by a 55-45 margin to succeed Williams as the District IV Trustee. The closest race of the election, one that will have people gnashing their teeth all winter, was in HISD III, where Manuel Rodriguez barely held on. I’m a staunch advocate of early voting, but you have to wonder how many early-goers to the ballot box may have regretted pushing the button for Rodriguez before his shameful gay-baiting mailer came out.

– There were 123,047 city of Houston votes cast in Harris and Fort Bend Counties, making this election a near exact duplicate of 2007 turnout-wise. There were 164,283 votes cast in Harris County, of which 120,931 were Houston votes, for a Houston share of 73.6%. The final early vote total for Harris County was 60,122, almost exactly what I hypothesized it would be, and the early vote total was 36.6% of the overall tally in Harris. There were 920,172 registered voters in Houston, about 15,000 fewer than in 2009 but 7000 more than in 2007. City turnout was 13.14% in Harris County.

I have my second tour of jury duty today, this time in the municipal courts, so that’s all from me for now. I may have some deeper thoughts later. What do you think of how the election went? PDiddie has more.

UPDATE: Robert Miller offers his perspective.

UPDATE: Nancy Sims weighs in.

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11 Comments

  1. Mainstream says:

    Further evidence of the lack of impact, or perhaps backfire, of the anti-Renew Houston slate is the pitiful performance of Karen Derr, and that Jack O’Connor ran stronger than Fernando Herrera, who was endorsed by this group.

  2. LizBiz says:

    I’m getting an error message when I try to subscribe to your RSS feed. It’s several paragraphs of html code and doesn’t appear to be an actual error message. Bottom line is I can’t subscribe – please look into this for me. Thanks!!

    ~LB

  3. John says:

    Kuff

    you have to put your loyalty aside for a moment. Barely 50% is pathetic for Annise, and please stop using the excuses of economy/red light camera/budget as an excuse. Maybe Annise is not that good and she has done absolutely zero on the pension/budget issue except kick the can down the road or minor tweaks that did not solve the problem

    I voted for her in 2009 but not yesterday, she just does not have the courage to make any real progress on the budget for the long term. I will bet any amount of money is gone in 2 years. Brown, Lanier or White never had this pathetic of a showing

  4. Brad M. says:

    John,

    I think you are a little off base. Kuff called it pretty evenly on potential reasons why her support was not higher. And she has done a decent job navigating rough economic waters.

    Though I think Kuff should have said that alarm bells should be going off for Parker.

  5. robert kane says:

    I kind of agree with John…. also, since she was a Council member for 6 yrs and en ELECTED Controller for 6 yrs…. she has been along for the ride on the pension/budget issues, it didn’t just show up at her doorstep, she’s played an important part in it….the question is , will the next person fix it either?

  6. Hobby says:

    There were two surprises for me. I did not expect Burks to be the leader in the at large 2 field, I expected Thibaut to be the leader even though she wasn’t my first choice. Secondly I thought Stardig would do better. The rest of the race played out pretty much as expected.

  7. John says:

    Brad verbalized it better than me, 51% for incumbent mayor. Annise needs to dump her advisors/people that have worked with her at city hall forever, or else she is done in 2 years. I am sure Bill King is a very happy man today

  8. Doris Murdock says:

    I found it very disheartening that 13,800 people actually voted for David Wilson. His nasty robo-call denigrating gays and Parker were beyond the pale.

  9. Hobby says:

    Amen Doris. At least he lost. Too bad with Manny Rodriguez, who did the same thing and won the HISD board seat with 24 votes.

  10. Paul Kubosh says:

    As to the Mayor’s Race if I would have known ahead of time that the Mayor would be so close to a run off I would have bussed the voters to the polls myself. I am looking forward to the next time she runs. I am just having to much fun. As to the prop 1 mailer and its impact who knows. However, didn’t the prop. 1 mailer endorse Jones and Brown? Also on a side note I saw Kuffner in traffic court doing his civic duty. My attorney tried the case before him so we didn’t get a chance to have Kuffner on our panel. I enjoy all the reading keep it up guys.

  11. Jules says:

    Paul – I thought the same thing.

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