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More thoughts on the Council elections

One district at a time…

– I confess that I did not see the District A result coming. Helena Brown did raise a decent amount of money since entering the race at the filing deadline, about $22K through the end of October, which makes me wonder how she might have fared if she had gotten in the race sooner. For what it’s worth, she’s at a big financial disadvantage in the runoff, as CM Brenda Stardig reported over $67K on hand in her 8 Day report, while Brown listed only $1378 on hers. Maybe Stardig needed to spend more during regulation time. Brown has received donations from the two previous District A members, Bruce Tatro and Toni Lawrence, the latter of whom apparently had a falling out with Stardig a few months back. If Brown wins she will be a big success story for the anti-Renew Houston forces. She would probably like for the runoff to be a low turnout affair in which she can campaign like it’s a Republican primary. Stardig will likely need to persuade some Democrats that she’s worth voting for; I would also expect the Houston Association of Realtors to try to come to her rescue. I have a bad feeling about this one for the incumbent.

– A lot of endorsing organizations avoided choosing a candidate in District B for November. I presume that part of the reason for that was that it was a crowded race with no obvious frontrunner and multiple contenders who might have a shot at making it to the runoff. Now that it’s narrowed down to Alvin Byrd and Jerry Davis, who received the bulk of the endorsements that were made, it’ll be interesting to see who lines up behind whom. Davis had an email out yesterday touting the fact that former competitors Kenneth Perkins, Phillip Paul Bryant, Bryan Smart, and Charles Ingram were all now supporting him. Also up for grabs now are the HBAD and Chronicle endorsements, both of which had gone to third place finisher (and currently unaligned, as far as I know) Kathy Daniels.

– Moving to the non-runoff districts, I’m still not sure if I’m surprised or not that Ellen Cohen won in C without a runoff. I had no doubt that it was possible, but I had no good feel for what the likelihood of it was. I do have a feeling that Cohen’s next two elections will be much easier to prognosticate.

– Given how a few other first-termers did, CM Al Hoang’s 56% win in District F has to be seen as a pretty strong performance, but much like Helena Brown in A, I wonder how Peter Lyn René might have fared if he had entered the race earlier. He missed out on the opportunity to screen for an awful lot of Democrat-friendly endorsements. I’m not saying he would have won, but a swing of less than 300 votes away from Hoang would have put him into a runoff. Surely that was achievable with a few months’ extra time to organize and fundraise.

– I’m just going to point you to what Greg says about District J, because there really isn’t anything I can add to it. I hope CM-elect Mike Laster makes an offer to Criselda Romero to be on his staff so that she can be in a good position to succeed him in 2017.

– Regarding the At Large runoffs, it’s easy to see the AL2 and AL5 races in racial terms, with the fates of the candidates entwined. Here’s Greg again:

As an aside in looking at the At Large runoffs together, I have a hard time seeing the needle threading such that both JoJo and Kristi win, though that’s obviously the outcome I’d most love to see. The more JoJo voters there are, then theoretically, the better the odds are for Andrew Burks. And the better things look for Kristi, the harder they look for JoJo. I really hope I’m wrong on this.

I think it’s a little more complex than that, for the simple reason that Burks isn’t a particularly good candidate. To put it another way, while I would agree that there will be a correlation between the vote totals of Burks and CM Jones, there will also be a lag between their totals. I believe a fair number of people who show up to vote for Jones will not bother to vote for Burks. As evidence, I cite the district returns from the 2009 runoffs, which featured both Burks and Jones as well as Ronald Green and Gene Locke. Take a look at these numbers, which I compiled from these earlier posts:

Candidate B votes D votes ============================ Locke 11,395 15,223 Green 10,017 16,935 Burks 7,773 11,974 Jones 10,673 17,653

Burks received less that 75% of Jones’ vote total in the African-American districts in the 2009 runoff, and he was running against someone who is not nearly as well-liked as Kristi Thibaut. He isn’t anywhere near Jones’ league. Maybe this time it will be different, but I see a lot of room for Jones to win and Burks to lose. And like District B, there are now a bunch of endorsements up for grabs. Thibaut, who had more endorsements by my count than other candidates going into the November election, counted HBAD among her supporters. She has since picked up the support of former candidates Bo Fraga, Jenifer Pool, and David Robinson; a whole host of Democratic elected officials, including numerous African-Americans (Rodney Ellis, Alma Allen, Garnet Coleman, Harold Dutton, Ron Reynolds, and Senfronia Thompson); and the Oak Forest Dems and Democracy for Houston endorsements; both of those groups reaffirmed their support of CM Jones as well. I think that says something, and about Burks’ ability to keep up with Jones.

As far as CM Jones goes, the playbook is the same for her as was two years ago: Run up the score in the friendly precincts, and hope it’s enough. Without a Gene Locke at the top of the ticket to drive turnout, that could be harder to achieve. She does have the benefit of the runoff in B to help her, but that may be canceled out by the action in A. It’s a crapshoot. I wouldn’t bet against her, but boy this is a tough way to go about it.

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7 Comments

  1. Joshua bullard says:

    some people amaze me with there fantastic un realistic fantasy views of local politics-i clearly stated as fact that ellen cohen would win with no run off-actually it was a no brainer-lets start with trying to get some of you fanatasy football players a byte of reality in the andrew c burks race-at large number #2 to start i will say this “its time/this time/andrewe c burks”.Heres why.i dont have a clue what in the hell andrew c burks went down there and told gary polland and the 70,000 republicans with the conservative review but it worked-for those of you that dont know the conservative review endorsed andrew c burks and it paid of in gold-in the run off it will pay off in platinum.
    point on point how and why andrew c burks wins the run off-this time the republicans show back up at the polls for run off action-andrew c burks takes the majority of votes “both ways”andrew gets jack christie votes and jolanda jones votes”wow”a double dose for andrew c burks-now then on to district b run off-another land slide victory for andrew c burks-again burks takes from both sides of the fence no matter who wins in district b-now for the grand finally-helena brown and stardig-this is where andrew takes heavy with the conservative review endorsement because this district is conservative houston-kristi thabaut never gets off the ground in the run off-if there was ever a time when the sun-the moon-and the stars have alligned for andrew c burks,this would be it.

    i will at this time state for the record that individually i joshua ben bullard will return to the run off polls and vote for canidate andrew c burks-no doubt in it-in the run off with jolanda jones and jack christie i will vote for canidate jack christie.i support bruce tatro and toni lawrence and respect there judgement-i support helena brown as there district council person.

    “its time/this time/andrew c burks”
    respectfully submitted joshua ben bullard 832 258 7511

  2. Greg Wythe says:

    The separation of votes cast in 2009 is encouraging. I hope it’s indicative of what happens this time around. But the biggest obvious difference is that Kristi is a first-time candidate in those areas, compared to Lovell at least having some advantages of incumbency in 2009.

    The endorsements from Afr-Am office holders could certainly pay off as long as there’s enough money spent to do something with that information. I’ll be curious to see what the separation looks like between Jolanda and Burks in the November vote this time around.

    Regardless, I’m voting for Kristi and JoJo … so there’s at least a separation of one somewhere in the world.

  3. Mainstream says:

    My hunch is that Christie will defeat Jolanda this time around. I expect Stardig to pull off a victory in December, and the increased turnout (or at least relatively higher turnout) in District A should help Christie, too.

    I also correctly predicted that Burks would lead the field for AL2, but my guess is that Thibault wins in December. First, Burks is not Herman Cain or Clarence Thomas, and I think most elderly white voters in District A and elsewhere, many of them women, will go with Thibault. I disagree with the suggestion that Burks got votes from the Texas Conservative Review advertisement. I suspect a precinct analysis will show that his support came from mostly black neighborhoods. Unless he gets high profile GOP leadership endorsements like Bettencourt, Dan Patrick, officeholders, and the like, I just don’t see him doing well on the west side of town.

  4. Joshua bullard says:

    leave it to a white guy from the suburbs to jump right in and play the race card-you should be ashamed of yourself mainstream-unlike you i was on the ground when the voters where driving into the polls-i saw first hand thousands of people coming in with the conservative review and exclaiming they where voting out of that-listen to me”kristi thaubaut” doesnt get off the ground in the runoff-brenda stardigs is voted out as well-andrew c burks handles the race from start to finish-he wins.
    do you realize that your saying that the elderly white women of district a vote based on race??????????????mainstream-you have dissapointed me with your thought process and your predictions are fantasy land that doesnt exist in the real world.

    wait and see”mainstream”
    joshua ben bullard

  5. Mainstream says:

    I don’t mean to be playing a race card, but stating the political truth that some voters choose candidates who are most like themselves, whether by gender, race, section of town, whatever. Some voters base their votes on ideological positions, thus Elizabeth Perez and Fernando Herrera got significant support from older, conservative whites. Burks did get some conservative support in 2009 against Sue Lovell, but he is a preacher and her status as a lesbian was anathema to social conservatives.

    “Thousands of people” came in to vote with a Texas Conservative Review? really?

    And even if they did, I think it unlikely many plopped for Burks. Eric Dick was rated an “A” by that guide, and Perez an “A-“. I have not seen precinct level data except for a single precinct inside the loop in District C where Burks got 30 votes from among 380 cast, while Dick got 43, Perez 37 on election day. (Griff led with 59) This is a precinct Cweren led, so fairly conservative.

    I’m inside the loop BTW.

  6. joshua bullard says:

    mainstream-i wasnt implying that your a racist-your all right-but you need to give credit where credit is due-gary polland and his conservative review hit hard this go-i was on the ground for jew don boney at bayland and chancellor elementary and i was blown away with how many people where voting with the review-and i dont even get along with gary polland but i cant deny what i saw.

    its not so much that andrew burks is such a strong canidate-its how weak kristi thaubaut is-shes a “lazy campainer”lazy lazy lazy that woman is-i have never in my life seen such a lazy campaigner as kristi-now then-if you know of any body that wants to back the winner in this at large number 2=its andrew c burks-its his time and when its someones time theres no stopping it.

    not to worry-“cweren never had a snowballs chance in hell in getting elected”………hes becomig a career canidate.

    telling you the results, before the outcome joshua ben bullard

  7. […] As I said before, a lot of people waited on the sidelines to see who would make the runoff in B before committing to […]

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