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Endorsement watch: The firefighters still don’t like the Mayor

Last week, the Ben Hall campaign teased on its Facebook page that it was about to get a “game-changer” endorsement. This week, that endorsement was announced.

Ben Hall

The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association announced they will be endorsing Ben Hall in his challenge to incumbent Mayor Annise Parker in this year’s mayoral campaign. This comes well after the Houston Police Officers’ Union endorsed the incumbent mayor back in March and just weeks after a fire that killed more firefighters than any single incident in Houston history.

Despite the fact that both organizations represent those who protect and serve the community, it is not surprising to see the HPOU and the HPFFA supporting different local candidates. It has happened numerous times in the past and usually has to do with how the current regime has supported both organizations. In this case, firefighters clearly believe Mayor Parker has not provided the department with the kind of support they need.

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Hall was a city attorney and he seems to be fairly well organized with a good coalition of backers, but his challenge of the mayor is likely a long shot, as with most incumbents, particularly ones who were in office during an economic upswing. But the endorsement of the firefighters will no doubt help Hall boost his chances.

Perhaps. Generally speaking with endorsements, it’s better to have them than not to have them. However, a “game-changer” to me is one that is unexpected, particularly if the endorser in question had previously supported the other candidate, or otherwise would not have been expected to make this endorsement. That’s not really the case with the firefighters, since they endorsed Fernando Herrera in 2011, and endorsed Gene Locke in 2009. Mayor Parker won both of those elections without their support, so it’s not clear why this time is different. Good for Ben Hall, but it’s not in the same league as winning the endorsement of a previous supporter.

Speaking of which, if one is going to claim the endorsement of someone who had previously supported one’s opponent, it’s best to actually have the endorsement of that person. And when mistakes about endorsements happen, as they sometimes do during campaign, it’s best to correct them quickly lest they remain on the Internet long after they’re first noticed. I’m just saying. Texpatriate has more.

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