Whenever I am asked about H-Town Latino voter turnout, I like to bring up the 1991 H-Town mayoral race. In 1991, Mayor Kathy Whitmire was facing a challenge from Bob Lanier and State Rep. Sylvester Turner. I signed on with the Bob Lanier campaign. Early on during the campaign, it was decided that in order for Lanier to win, a coalition would have to be put together that included Lanier handily winning the Latino vote. Lanier who is a numbers guy personally told me that he couldn’t get elected mayor unless Latinos supported his candidacy.
Prior to the race, Lanier wasn’t exactly a household name in H-Town much less the Latino community. Lanier Campaign Manager Craig Varoga and unpaid advisor Dave Walden were both smart enough to know that we had to invest campaign resources in the Latino community. They were huge proponents of this strategy. We had to spend some major bucks.
We were on Spanish TV and radio shortly after the campaign went on English language TV and radio. We actually were on the two major Spanish language TV stations and four radio stations. We also had a mail program directed at Latino neighborhoods.
We had a message that was directed at Latino voters. It was something along the lines that the Latino vote would make the difference and the Latino community would be a full partner at City Hall. The latter message was developed after a year of local media coverage on Latinos and the 1991 redistricting process, so the message resonated in Latino neighborhoods.
It also helped that we, the Lanier campaign, were the only ones on the air in the Spanish language community for the first election. Of course, not all Latino voters tune in to Spanish language TV or radio, but a lot of Latinos that I know, including friends and family do. So discussions were occurring among families and friends on the Lanier candidacy because all Latino voters were able to view and hear the Lanier ads in their preferred language. A side benefit was the fact that the absence on Spanish language airwaves by Whitmire and Turner was viewed as a slight of the Latino community.
Leading up to the first election, we kind of had an idea that the investment was paying off. Latinos would come up to Lanier at events like church bazaars and tell him that he had won their family’s vote. In the first go around, Lanier handily won the Latino vote with a higher than expected Latino voter turnout
In the runoff, we immediately went back on the air on Spanish language TV and radio and thanked the Latino voters and told them their vote made the difference and would continue to make the difference in the run-off. As I recall, with a couple of weeks left before the runoff, the Turner campaign finally got on Spanish language radio with an attack ad calling Lanier a fat cat or something like that but we had pretty much solidified our presence in the community and again won handily in the Latino community in the runoff. In this instance the investment paid off…… to be continued.
On June 2, 2001, Roy O made his first start as a ‘Stro. Who did he replace in the rotation?
In today’s Chron there is a story about Harris County Judge Ed Emmett floating the idea of an elections administrator and taking voter registration and election activities away from the Tax Assessor Collector and County Clerk. Commentary thinks this a very good idea. Check out the piece.
I like the idea of the County Judge, County Clerk, Assessor Collector, and both party chairs at the same table overseeing our elections. The Dem candidates for County Clerk and Assessor Collector oppose the idea. What happens if we don’t win in November? Do we want a fella like Don Sumners fully in control of voter registration? I applaud Judge Emmett for putting out an idea whose time has come. I don’t know why Dems would be opposed to this. I would hope Dems are not opposing just because Emmett is the proposer. Way to go Judge Emmett!
The Statesman has a story today on Guv Dude going after the Former H-Town Mayor and Houston METRO. It looks like METRO is going to be part of Dude’s campaign like Commentary predicted. Here are some killer lines from the piece.
“He (White) was also quick to point out that Metro’s board, and not the mayor, oversees the agency. The mayor names five of Metro’s nine board members.”
"’Almost everyone would be of the opinion that Metro was run in a very nontransparent manner,’ said Mark Jones, chairman of the political science department at Rice University.” Check out the piece.
There was a column in yesterday’s SA Express News about the race. Check it out.
Roy O of course replaced Jose Lima in the starting rotation. Lima Time left us way too soon.
My favorite Lima Time story happened on June 17, 2000 in San Francisco. My Best Friend, his son Matt, and I were at PAC Bell Park watching the ‘Stros and Giants. It was a Saturday afternoon game that Lima Time started. He was knocked out of the game in the sixth inning. We ended up losing 6-4. On our way out of the stadium we were walking past the restaurant/bar in PAC Bell and there was Lima Time already in street clothes holding court along with Octavio Dotel. They both autographed a baseball I had. Lima Time was one of a kind for sure….ole!
Dante came of age of sorts yesterday. We were in Pam-In-Charge’s seat and a foul ball skipped past us as Dante lunged for it and partially barehanded it. He missed it but I was impressed with his effort.
I wasn’t impressed with way Roy O handled his request to hit the road.
We actually should have swept the Rays this past weekend but our pitching collapsed yesterday and our defense sputtered Saturday. On Roy O, let’s hang on to him until the last minute of the trade deadline when teams will part with more than what they will now.