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Turner officially announces his re-election bid

And he’s off.

Mayor Sylvester Turner

Mayor Sylvester Turner made it official Wednesday, launching his re-election campaign for Houston’s top elected office.

Turner announced the news in a 96-second video that appeared on a revamped campaign website, where the mayor also posted notice of a formal kickoff event March 30 at Minute Maid Park.

Election Day is Nov. 5.

Though observers say Turner is the odds-on favorite to win, several politically challenging issues have emerged that could hinder his re-election chances.

Early opponents Bill King, a businessman who narrowly lost to Turner in 2015, and Tony Buzbee, a millionaire attorney, have each taken aim at the mayor over his long-running wage dispute with firefighters. They also have criticized Turner for the city’s recent problems with trash pickup, and levied charges that political donors hold too much sway over City Hall, a notion the mayor denies.

Recently, Turner lost the support of Houston’s largest teachers’ union over the firefighter compensation issue, which now revolves around the city’s slow implementation of Proposition B, a voter-approved charter amendment that grants firefighters the same pay as police officers of corresponding status.

Still, Turner heads into re-election with a multi-million-dollar war chest, according to a January campaign finance report, and a tangible record that he can cite on the campaign trail. That includes a landmark overhaul of Houston’s pension systems, a topic Turner highlighted in his announcement video.

I support Mayor Turner and will vote for him. I’ll stipulate that his first two years, when he pushed pension reform through the Lege, were a lot better than the year-plus since then. The passage of Prop B has done him no favors, but that’s the hand he’s been dealt and he needs to bring it to a resolution. That has also not been the only issue, so to whatever extent one wants to blame Prop B for the rocky road he’s been on, he’d still be bumping around without it. He’s lucky that Tony Buzbee is a joke, and Bill King has nothing to run on now that pension reform has been passed, but that only gets him so far. Sylvester Turner is a smart man, a sharp politician, and a Mayor who has shown he can get things done. He can get himself back on track, and he needs to get going on that. People aren’t really paying attention now, but they are forming impressions. He needs to give them some more good ones.

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8 Comments

  1. David Fagan says:

    Turner is not a mayor, but a ghost. He ran on removing the revenue cap, he didn’t do that, but goes along with the GHP about how it is a benefit. He didn’t agree with TIRZ, and there are more. Pension reform brought prob B, so he earned that. If he did not have the foresight to see this situation, he doesn’t have it now. The pension reform was not written, or designed by him and his law firm has benefited from it, labor negotiations, and the lawsuits that come from contentious times. The private/public pattern of the management of this city is going to have to take its share of the responsibility of the financial challenges. He has not fulfilled any of his campaign issues and does not deserve credit for issues pushed through by the GHP, the C-club, or his lawfirm, which manages the multi million dollar pension bonds for the police and municipal employees. He could have stepped in for negotiations with the FF’ s, but didn’t, so he earned the subsequent fallout. He’s earned the recycling contact fiasco. I did not vote for a politician, I voted for someone who expressed a stance on issues, and none of them were achieved. Turner is a ghost of a mayor, allowing the city to be run by private entities for their overrepresented advantage.

  2. Bill Daniels says:

    Turner has had a major stumble with both Prop. B and the TIRZ. I can see how everyone from all sides might be angry with Turner. He also failed bigly with his press secretary debacle. I was pleasantly surprised with Turner’s early governance, but he’s had quite a few missteps,including the perceived cronyism. I wanted King to win, became a Turner supporter, but that support has waned. I guess we need to hear what Bill King has to campaign on this go-round.

    The thing is, the FF cluster will be over and done before the election, so that will be a campaign issue only in the sense that Turner botched the implementation of the will of the voters. The voters clearly voted for big raises, and Turner should have just given them, along with the corresponding layoffs. Wasting time and money on lawsuits achieved absolutely zero.

    Raises. Firings. Cancelled equipment orders and cancelled renovations for firehouses. That’s what needs to happen right now.

  3. Bill Daniels says:

    https://www.click2houston.com/news/mayor-turner-presents-plan-to-lay-off-400-firefighters-to-implement-prop-b

    I’m surprised, only 400 firefighters need to be let go to pay for the raises. I figured it would be more.

  4. David Fagan says:

    It still has a long way to go. I am surprised it came so soon, I thought he was going to save his plan for two weeks before the budget had to be voted on. But, he did officially launch his campaign on the same day. Having his campaign run concurrently with fighting voters’ decisions would be counter productive, and will probably prove to be since there are still lawsuits afoot. It would be interesting if those lawsuits were mysteriously dropped, of course is the prop b were to go through, I guess they would be dropped. Politics…….

  5. David Fagan says:

    Let’s not forget the Mayor supported the planning and construction of a new Sunnyside Community Center on the site of a landfill and former incinerator. If that’s not a result of historic economic racism, I don’t know what would be.

    Thankfully that community did something about it, not the Mayor.

  6. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    IIRC, The revenue cap cannot be removed until 2021, so its unfair to blame Turner for not overturning it. Those layoffs are a direct consequence of Prop B and would result under any administration. I suppose we could lay off 1000 police officers.

  7. Manny Barrera says:

    Tom they make more money so less of them would have be laid off.

    I would not be surprised if Bill King wins this time if it gets to a run-off.

  8. David Fagan says:

    Yes, the Mayor may lay people off, it will be blamed on the FF’s, but will the DNC be in Houston? I doubt it, but if it is, it will be welcomed by city employees, many in those little yellow t shirts they like to wear. I got mine.