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Election results: Houston

Mayor Annise Parker

Mayor Annise Parker

Mayor Annise Parker easily won re-election, collecting over 57% of the vote in Harris County to beat Ben Hall by nearly thirty points, and far exceeding the expectations of most observers going into Election Day. I personally thought she had a decent chance of avoiding a runoff, but I wasn’t willing to commit to more than that, and I figured 55% was her ceiling. Good on her for such a strong win, which not only ought to wipe out any lingering talk about her unimpressive win in 2011 but also reinforces my belief, which I have said here several times, that she would be tougher to beat this time around. I’ll do a deeper look at the race once I have precinct data, but a peek at the Fort Bend County results suggests one reason for Parker’s dominant win: She managed a respectable showing among African-American voters. Ben Hall took 62% of the vote in Fort Bend. By comparison, Ronald Green won 89% there, and Brad Bradford coasted with 92%.

Speaking of Ronald Green, he won a much closer race, with about 51.7% of the vote after Fort Bend is added in. This was in line with my expectations for the race – I figured Green would win, but it would be close. I don’t know what his thoughts are for 2015, but I think it’s safe to say he’s probably not the frontrunner for Mayor.

In the At Large races, Stephen Costello, Brad Bradford, and Jack Christie all won easily, while Andrew Burks trailed David Robinson as the two head for a runoff. Going back to the Fort Bend results, Burks managed only 54.5% of the vote there. He could be in real trouble in December. In At Large #3, Michael Kubosh led the field with 28% in Harris and a 42% plurality in Fort Bend. He will square off against Roy Morales, who snuck his way into the runoff ahead of Jenifer Pool and Rogene Calvert, who had about the same number of votes each. The four Democratic candidates combined for 54% of the vote in this race, but the distribution was sufficiently tight that it allowed the two Republicans to finish in the money, not unlike District C in 2005. It will be fascinating to see how this one plays out in December.

While there were some mild surprises among these results, there were two truly shocking finishes. One was in District F, where little known challenger Richard Nguyen knocked off two-term incumbent Al Hoang by a 52-48 margin. That one counts as an even bigger surprise than Helena Brown’s win in 2011. Speaking of CM Brown, she will be headed to a runoff rematch against Brenda Stardig, leading by a 38-29 margin with Mike Knox coming in third at a shade under 20%. For what it’s worth, Brown led Stardig 47-41 after the November vote two years ago. Jerry Davis won in B, Dwight Boykins collected over 40% in D and will face off against Georgia Provost, and Graci Garces led the field of four in District I, with Robert Gallegos clinging to a 20-vote lead on Ben Mendez for the second slot.

The HISD races went according to script, with Anna Eastman and Wanda Adams winning big, with Harvin Moore claiming a closer victory. Unfortunately, the other shocker was in HCC 2, where hatemonger Dave Wilson was leading incumbent Bruce Austin by 26 votes. I can’t begin to say how catastrophically terrible that result is if it stands. Remember, HCC Trustees serve for six years. Dave Wilson is a terrible person who has no business being on any elected body, and he has zero qualifications for this job. He’s been running for various things lately just to be a pain in the ass, and it looks like this time in a low information, low turnout race, he managed to win. I’m so upset about this I’m almost unable to talk about it. I’m thoroughly disgusted by this election. Every time I’m asked to speak about elections, I talk about how HCC races are important but always overlooked. This is why.

In the other HCC races, Neeta Sane was re-elected in a squeaker. She lost Harris County by 300 votes but won Fort Bend by 900. All other races are headed to runoffs – Robert Glaser narrowly missed a majority vote in HCC 5 and will go up against Phil Kunetka; appointee Herlinda Garcia trailed Adriana Tamez in HCC 3; and Yolanda Navarro Flores, who benefited from Dave Wilson’s hatred, will face Zeph Capo. Please check and see if you live in HCC 1, because if you do you really need to show up in December and vote for Zeph.

One last word on the Houston races for now: Turnout was over 175,000 total votes, which approaches 2009 levels. Despite my oft-stated belief that this would be the year that the majority of the votes would be cast before Election Day, thus making odd-year elections more like the even-year elections, that didn’t happen – there were about 94,000 Election Day votes in Harris County, and about 80,000 early and absentee votes. A bigger slice was early, but not the lion’s share just yet.

I will write about results from other races in the next post.

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9 Comments

  1. Dan Dalton says:

    That District I race is very interesting because it appears 73% of the district voted ‘against’ the current establishment. Many predicted a run off between Robert and Graci, and I’m predicting now that Robert wins the run off by a very large margin.

    For Graci having 10 years of experience, strong endorsements and she struggled to get 27% of the vote — she’s in trouble.

  2. Mainstream says:

    Does anyone know whether Dave Wilson was also involved in supporting, mailing for the challenger to Neeta Sane?

  3. Voter says:

    In District I, the grassroots candidate Leticia Ablaza surged on Election Day, coming 3 votes short of first place in the Election Day count, and 165 votes short overall of making the runoff. The marginal swing vote in that race was in the ballots by mail. It’s amazing how many races were won or lost by such a small number of votes.

  4. Hobby Lobby says:

    I’m sorry but it mystifies me how the people who didn’t lead in District I spin things to try to make the lead look like a defeat. Graci Garces is not an incumbent. She ran on her own merits and led the pack. 73% didn’t vote for her, well, 75% or so didn’t vote for Gallegos either. Nearly 80% didn’t vote for Ablaza. Gallegos was a mere 20 votes away from not being in the run off at all. 20 votes. Now he is some kind of big leader? Don’t count on it.

  5. Burt Levine says:

    Dave Wilson I doubt had any connection to Neeta Sane but nonetheless it has been difficult to find any results on the Sane race.

  6. Julian Deleon says:

    I’m looking at the same math/data everyone else is; District I voters said ‘No’ to the current District I Administration — by 73%! Another way to look at this is, Graci is toughting her experience, endorsements and cash raising and is only 100 plus votes ahead of the person she is in a run off with — and she struggled to get 27% of the vote.

    Graci is in trouble — no two ways about it!

  7. Sparky says:

    You can say the same for any candidate in District I. Gallegos toughts his experience, length of time in District, endorsements ect. yet he got less votes than Graci!

  8. Jason says:

    Graci maxed out on votes at 27 percent. She is the Chief of Staff and people are surprised she scored so low. I think Robert Gallegos is positioned to win. Additionally, people are not happy with James Rodriguez so there is not much Robert has to do at this point.

  9. Bob S. says:

    Now, who was working the polls with a crooked wig?

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