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And we’re still talking about the 2015 Mayor’s race

Here we go again.

Mayor Annise Parker

Still the Mayor

The mayor’s race may be more than a year away, but nearly all candidates have launched shadow campaigns – and not all shadow campaigns are created equal.

[State Rep. Sylvester] Turner and Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, considered early frontrunners if both launch bids for City Hall, already have the name recognition from years of holding public office. That advantage may be multiplied by their ability to raise money through their existing campaign committees – an opportunity they have capitalized on over the last month.

City ordinances prevent candidates from raising money for a mayoral bid before Feb. 1, but because Turner and Garcia currently hold non-city offices, they can raise cash through their committees.

Come February, they are expected to transfer the lion’s share of that money to their mayoral bids, turning the well-liked frontrunners into well-funded frontrunners.

“It’s a little bit of a head start for sure, but the people who are talking about it are lining up their donors the same way they are,” said Lillie Schechter, a Democratic fundraiser. “One person will have to pick up checks, the other person will have to transfer checks.”

[…]

In what is expected to be the most crowded mayoral field since the last open race in 2009, a dozen potential candidates have effectively launched their bids, hiring consultants, meeting with labor and business groups, and telling the political class that a campaign is imminent. They must sit on their hands, however, when it comes to raising the money that determines their political viability, unable to collect a single check until the nine-month brawl for the mayor’s office begins in February.

As many as seven Republicans are looking into entering the race: Ben Hall, who squared off against Mayor Annise Parker in 2013, and councilmen Steven Costello and Oliver Pennington said they will announce bids, while councilmen Jack Christie and Michael Kubosh and former Kemah mayor Bill King are waiting to assess the field.

Republican Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez, METRO chairman Gilbert Garcia, [Chris] Bell, City Councilman C.O. “Brad” Bradford and private equity executive Marty McVey are said to be considering bids.

See here for the previous roundup of wannabes, could-bes, and never-will-bes. I have four things to say.

1. Most of what I think about this story I’ve already said in that previous post. I do consider Rep. Turner to be the frontrunner, for whatever that’s worth, but we’re a long, long way from being able to assess the field. Hell, there really isn’t a field to assess right now. As I said, there are only so many max-dollar donors, only so many endorsements that are worth chasing, and only so much grassroots/volunteer energy to go around. The market, if you will, just can’t support more than about four serious candidates. Most of the names you see and hear now will disappear long before we get to put-up-or-shut-up time.

2. Like Texpatriate, I remain skeptical that Sheriff Garcia will throw his hat into the ring. He must know that a fair number of Democrats will be unhappy with him if he leaves his post to a Republican appointee, which is what we’ll get from Commissioners Court. I do not speak for Sheriff Garcia, I do not advise Sheriff Garcia, and I have zero inside knowledge of what Sheriff Garcia has in mind for his future. If I were advising him, I would tell him to line up a strong successor for 2016, then set his sights on running for County Judge in 2018, when we know Ed Emmett will step down. We all know that Sheriff Garcia has ambitions for bigger things. I’ll be delighted to see him on a statewide ballot some day. Mayor of Houston would certainly be an excellent springboard to something statewide. So would County Judge. I think he’d have a clearer shot at that, and he’d risk angering fewer current allies with that choice. This is 100% my opinion, so take it for what it’s worth.

3. Listing Ben Hall as a Republican made me guffaw, followed by some giggles. Any article that can do that to me is all right in my book.

4. I still don’t think we should be talking about the Mayor’s race now, and we shouldn’t be talking about it until after the election this November. That’s far more important right now. That said, I am thinking about what I do and don’t want in my next Mayor. I’ll publish it when it’s done, which I guarantee you will be some time after November 4.

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11 Comments

  1. PDiddie says:

    I like your career suggestion for Sheriff Garcia. It’s also true that he earns respect in some Republican quarters for his “tuff-on-crime” persona, including undocumenteds. And 2018 — on the coattails of a successful Clinton-Castro 2016 ticket — might finally be the year for statewide blues.

  2. Manuel Barrera says:

    Adrian Garcia Deporter in Chief of sheriffs in the United States. Don’t be surprised if his Latino support starts shrinking as the word keeps getting out where his beliefs are in regards to separating Latino families.

  3. Steven Houston says:

    Manuel, Garcia gains far more support than he loses over deporting illegals. And frankly, at this stage of the game, he’d pick up most Latino votes by virtue of name alone, it’s not like they’d vote for Gutherie(sp?) who used to meet with vigilante groups on Stubner-Airline while on duty (pre-firing). When he decides to run for higher office, and friends of his are telling me that means commissioner’s court, not for mayor, his stance will give him a decided edge as Harris county slowly changes colors.

  4. Ross says:

    Manuel, Garcia isn’t going out and looking for people to deport. And, the County Sheriff can’t deport anyone on his own in any case. Anyone who gets put into the deportation process has been arrested for a crime, or has otherwise drawn the attention of law enforcement.

  5. Manuel Barrera says:

    Steven and you Ross do not know the Latino community. As to how gets deported as criminals that is an outright falsehood.

    Besides you forget that Latinos don’t always vote for the Latino name. So don’t count those votes for Garcia.

    Illegals, Steven is that what you think of them, that is a very typical racist comment. Wonder why Latinos don’t support the Democratic Party in Harris county?

    Ross, Garcia went out of his way to bring safe communities to Harris County. The man is a Latino hater who is way beyond his capacity in office.

    You all forget there will be at least one other Latino in the race and maybe as many as three.

    If he can sell out the Latino community what makes you think he won’t sell out other communities of interest when it does suits him to do so? That was a Republican raising all that money for him wasn’t it?

    Some of you so call Democratic intellects are easily deceived, remember Gabriel Vasquez?

  6. Manuel Barrera says:

    As to the deportation of persons in the Sheriff’s custody the only thing a person has to do is be undocumented for Garcia’s office to call ICE. I know of mothers that were deported for supposedly getting into arguments, they left babies here.

    Garcia is a human hating individual, especially if he thinks it will get him votes.

  7. Manuel Barrera says:

    It is a shame that most if not all of you have so much compassion for the homosexual community but no compassion for the those that are undocumented.

  8. Paul Kubosh says:

    Manuel….OUCH. Undocumented citizens don’t vote. So no one cares.

  9. joshua ben bullard says:

    chris bell out=eric dick will definastly jump in=costello stephen hes in,adrian garcia is out -he wont get in,turner sylvester is in for sure,ben hall is out,pennington is going to loose miserbly, for right now this thing is run off with s -urner and the mystery candidate=i cant say costello at this point because costello doesnt have a massive war chest like turner,2015 comes down to run off with turner and a candidate that hasnt revelaed himself yet=i suspect the hobby guy will give turner a run for his money,some guy named hobby is what my group is telling me will run against turner in the run off.

    spell check all this on your end..
    joshua ben bullard 832 258 7511

  10. Steven Houston says:

    Once again Paul Kubosh and I agree. Yay!

    Try to slant the semantics anyway you like Manuel but Garcia is not deporting people that are here legally. It is not racist to call a spade a spade and regardless of your preferred term, perhaps “undocumented worker”, is still considered an “illegal” by the vast majority of the community whether you like it or not.

    As it stands, poll after poll shows groups voting for those that look like them in a major way. It is the strongest predictor aside from political party affiliation, perhaps even surpassing that. Given Garcia’s success in running for county wide office as a democrat, he clearly has the support of his party and he gets enough cross over votes to remain there when all the Obama sweep candidates of his party were swept back to the unemployment line. Given the dysfunctional Latino political groups of the area all trying to be the big kingmaker and unwilling to share power with anyone, Garcia will garner enough Latino votes along with his cross overs from the GOP and the hardcore democrats to remain in office long after the rest of the wannabe’s have given up.

    And ultimately, expecting a politician to not somehow “sell out” groups from time to time is crazy because there are only finite resources and a near infinite demand upon them with mutually exclusive goals. And just so you are aware, a number of Latino’s in the area are not supportive of illegals nor will ICE deport based on just a phone call or their lines would literally be ringing off the hook. A lot of people think Garcia should be personally making those calls anytime an illegal is picked up but realistically, the feds will not take them except under very narrow circumstances. I’m not saying I agree, just that this is clearly the case based on personal observation.

  11. Ross says:

    I don’t know the Latino community? Gee, I guess I have learned nothing from my in-laws, who are upstanding members of that community. Their take on deportation – “don’t get arrested for doing something stupid, and you won’t get deported”.