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Endorsement watch: Brad and Graci

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.

CM C.O. "Brad" Bradford

CM C.O. “Brad” Bradford

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.

Graci Garces

Graci Garces

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?

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8 Comments

  1. Hobby Lobby says:

    As a resident of District I, Graci is my choice. While she hasn’t always lived there, she has more knowledge of the district and how it works than anyone. I am predicting a run off between her and Mendez. Your interview with Mendez reflected what I already knew. He couldn’t give good answers to most of the questions. He seems to be more about Ben than the district. There is too much going on in the district from the new builds downtown to the resurgence in areas like EaDo, Eastwood and Glenbrook Valley to hand it over to another east end kingpin in the mold of felon Ben Reyes. Mendez used to work for Reyes too from what I understand. Reyes, interestingly enough, is supporting Ablaza. I still don’t see her making much of a showing. E-mails from activists over in Magnolia have circulated around about how she was denying being a Republican while over in the deepest blue precincts. You can’t go on the Spanish language stations and be interviewed as the Republican then turn around and tell people you have never been one, and expect people to believe you. Copies saved of some of the “Seething Republican” posts her and her husband used to blog about have also been making the rounds, along with the enemy she has made out of right wing activists Elizabeth Perez. (google toy drive, Perez, Ablaza to get up to speed on that one). The Ablazas have left a trail of too many messy stunts and just denying things people have seen you do, well, it doesn’t work. Gallegos has some staunch support and he is a good guy that is probably running for a lot of the right reasons. He doesn’t seem to be campaigning that well nor raising much money. Unless Sylvia Garcia has some magic card, I think he may be fighting Ablaza for last place. There will undoubtedly be a run off, and I have looked at the finance reports to try to see who might be leading. Mendez and Ablaza’s money seems to be big company type money from outside the district. Gallegos has money from the district, just not a lot, but Garces has the most from actual voters. In fact, if you look in 77061, which covers Ablaza’s home turf, Garces is blowing her away in her own backyard. Graci’s going to win this one.

  2. Sparky says:

    Graci all the way. She has been actively involved with all the progress made in the area such as the Historic District and the Hobby Area Management District which will provide much needed security to the area and improvements along Broadway. Whenever I have called Councilmember Rodriguez’s office she has listened and responded immediately to my concerns. She knows how to work with the rest of City Council and will have a good relationship with the Mayor.

  3. Justin Deleon says:

    There will be a run off between Robert Gallegos and Graci Garces. Robert will then win in the run off. The District wants change and not more of the same. Graci only has support in the Hobby area. Most of the Civic Club Presidents are not supporting Graci because she has done a poor job as Chief of Staff. She got nailed in a radio interview today. Graci hired Marc Campos who has been dumped by almost every client that has hired him. Graci comes into this race at a disadvantage because Carol Alvarado and James Rodriguez are not liked; Carol lost the Texas Senate race and Leticia Ablaza took almost 40 percent of the vote from James Rodriguez last election.

  4. Amy Beck says:

    My guess is Robert Gallegos wins in a run off. I think he has ran a smart campaign. I think the mistake his opponents have made is taking thier eyes off him. ¬†We will see, but I’m thinking Robert Gallegos.

  5. Dan Dalton says:

    I think Robert Gallegos wins. Graci lacks polish and professionalism; she comes across really harsh at meetings and not very Council Memberish. Ben has been involved in too much scandal and I don’t think Voters know if they can trust Leticia (her stories don’t always add up). People know, like and can ‘trust’ Robert Gallegos.

  6. Alexis Deleon says:

    Think Robert Gallegos will win. In looking throughout the District, Graci does not seem to have a lot of support. I see Robert Gallegos signs everywhere.

  7. Bob S. says:

    Robert will probably win. I have seen his people out in the District the most.

  8. Mary says:

    I hope Robert gets the position. He is a great guy and everyone knows him. He is a triple threat (private sector, government and Civic experience). He has done a great job campaigning and he strikes me as a guy who is thoughtful and does not put all his cards on the table. I always like to know people’s Zodiac sign when I meet them because it tells me something about them. Robert is a Scorpio, which tells me he likes the idea of flying under the Radar and/or being underestimated, but I would expect some shoes to drop soon to the degree that it will freak his opponents out or conern them.

    I don’t know Graci, but I think she only has government experience and has only lived in the District a short while. So, she has never seen issues threw the lens of a resident, constituent or some type of Community lead person.