Here’s the Chron’s look at the At Large #3 race.
Citywide races demand more money and name recognition for candidates to be successful, unlike district seats where neighborhood familiarity can matter more.
Perhaps the candidate with the best mix of both is bail bondsman Michael Kubosh.
Rice University political scientist Bob Stein said “the slayer of red-light cameras” can bank on his name and race-leading finances, mostly from his own pocket, to secure a spot in a likely December runoff.
“You know me because of my standing up for citizens of the city on the red-light camera issue,” he said. “I believe in standing up and petitioning your government if you see things wrong.”
While he sees many potential problems at the city, including budget difficulties that he says must be solved without deferring pension payments and a lack of public information about how the new drainage fee is being used, Kubosh said he needs more details before deciding how to act.
Rice Political science professor Mark Jones said Kubosh’s reputation as “a bull in a china shop” and an ongoing civil suit in Jefferson County Court alleging barratry – the practice of illegally soliciting clients – are weak points opponents could exploit in a runoff.
Kubosh denied the barratry allegation, calling the close ties between his brother’s law office and his bail bonding operation a family business.
The ballot also includes two candidates with experience working in the back rooms of city government who say they are ready to lead.
One of those is former City Hall staffer Rogene Calvert, who came the closest to matching Kubosh’s fundraising, and leads him in money on hand as the race heads into its final weeks. According to campaign reports covering the period that ended Sept. 29, Calvert has more than $94,000 in the bank, while Kubosh has about $40,000 left to spend before the Nov. 5 election.
Not to nitpick, but as Greg pointed out for the 30 Day reports and I noted for the July reports, a large portion of Kubosh’s fundraising comes from his own funds. Nothing wrong with writing your own check, but to me it’s fundamentally different than raising funds from the donations of others. One could argue that someone with the name recognition and past citywide electoral activism of Michael Kubosh should have a broader fundraising base than his reports indicate. To be fair, it may be that since he can finance his own campaign, Kubosh would prefer to spend his time engaging voters rather than dialing for dollars he doesn’t genuinely need. My point is simply that there’s a quantitative difference between being a strong fundraiser and being a self-funder, and I think the story should have noted the distinction. There is more to the story than just this. I’d have had to quote way too much of it to give a representative sample of what they said about each of the viable candidates, so go read it for yourself. I’m less certain than Prof. Stein that Kubosh is a lock for the runoff, mostly because I think any of the five viable candidates has a realistic path to Round 2, but we’ll see. Who are you supporting in this race?