Another endorsement twofer from the Chron, this time an incumbent and an open seat. First up, the Chron endorses CM Brad Bradford for a third term.
The duties of an at-large council member are not as specific as those of a district council member and At-large Council Member C.O. “Brad” Bradford has some ideas about changing that, which we’ll return to a minute.
But first things first. Bradford, the former chief of the Houston Police Department, has continued to serve this city well in two terms in At-large Position 4. He deserves to be returned to City Hall for a third and final two years at the council table.
[T]he council member has presented an ambitious proposal to change the Houston City Charter.
Among the ideas? Giving the five at-large council members specific portfolios such as public safety, budget and finance, parks and recreation, etc.
Bradford has drawn a worthy opponent in Issa Dadoush, a former director of the city of Houston General Services Department who is a licensed professional engineer and an MBA.
We encourage Dadoush, now in the private sector, to remain interested in elective service at City Hall. But for the next two years, our clear recommendation for voters is C.O. “Brad” Bradford for City Council At-large Position 4.
I was beginning to wonder when the Chron would get around to the last four races. For this race at least I didn’t expect anything unusual. I don’t have much to add to the Chron’s endorsement. CM Bradford is a sharp guy, and while I don’t always agree with him, he does bring a lot to the table. My interview with CM Bradford is here.
The Chron also endorsed Graci Garces in District I.
Whoever represents District I should have no learning curve at City Hall, and be ready to serve families in the district’s Hispanic communities and also booming downtown businesses. An inexperienced city council member risks killing the goose that laid the golden egg. We believe that Graci Garces, with her years of service within local government, is the best candidate for District I.
Once represented by Hispanic political kingpin Ben Reyes, before he was busted in a federal bribery sting, District I has been held by a clean line of succession for the past 12 years. State Rep. Carol Alvarado was elected to that seat for three terms, followed by her chief of staff, James G. Rodriguez, who is completing his third and final term on council. Garces, Rodriguez’s chief of staff, would continue the Alvarado dynasty at City Hall.
That isn’t necessarily a good thing. Lifelong staffers like Garces, 33, lack important private sector experience, and may have a greater sense of loyalty to their mentors than their constituents.
But Garces hasn’t been some behind-the-scenes insider. For the past 10 years, she’s been the eyes and ears for City Hall in District I. Her specific, localized ideas go beyond the usual infrastructure and jobs agenda, with goals of reducing animal overpopulation in neighborhoods and tearing down blight. She’s walked the streets for a decade and knows the area well. After working in D.C. and Austin for a host of Hispanic representatives, Garces will be able to serve as a bridge between government and the community.
Here’s my interview with Graci Garces. The Chron also gave a shoutout to Ben Mendez in their endorsement. Garces is a strong candidate, but as I’ll mention in a subsequent post, I don’t see any of the four having a clearcut edge over the others. Perhaps this will give her a boost towards the runoff. If you live in District I, who is your preferred choice?