Archive for November 14th, 2014

Frontrunner Status

This is from Chron.com:

Carroll Robinson said Thursday that he would join Bill Frazer in running for City Controller next year, setting up an open-seat contest that likely will be overshadowed by a high-profile, wide-open mayoral race.

This is an open seat and we only have two folks interested in running for City Controller? Yesterday, I listed six folks running for Mayor. Surely more folks will run for City Controller.

Yesterday I said the following:

Without spending a whole lot of time dissecting the race, I will say that Carroll Robinson probably benefits if both (former City Attorney Ben) Hall and (State Rep. Sylvester) Turner make the race and spend a lot of dough – the African-American turnout thing.

Of course, if both Hall and Turner spend a lot of dough they could end up splitting the African-American vote and that probably benefits the other four candidates.

The ‘Stros acknowledged the other day that they need better offensive production from their third baseman. Matty D. just isn’t getting the job done. Name the last ‘Stro third baseman to make it to the MLB All Star game?

This came out the other day in the Chron:

A second lawsuit has been filed contesting city fundraising rules that put challengers and political newcomers at a disadvantage.

Trebor Gordon, an at-large candidate for the Houston City Council, says that the city’s fundraising blackout period – which prevents candidates from raising money for city races during the 10 months before Feb. 1 of the election year – presents an unconstitutional barrier for candidates that are not already elected officials.

On Tuesday, Gordon filed a lawsuit against the city in U.S. District Court charging that the ban on fundraising violates the First Amendment.

Gordon also says in the filing that the ordinance gives elected officials in offices outside the city an advantage because they can raise money through their officeholder account during the blackout period and then transfer much of that money to their city campaign when the floodgates open.

“These exceptions codify a shocking bias toward incumbents and the political elite,” wrote Jerad Najvar, an election lawyer representing Gordon.

Gordon’s suit comes a month after Chris Bell, a likely mayoral candidate, filed his own suit asking a state court to disallow Sylvester Turner, considered a frontrunner in the race for mayor, and other competitors from conducting this type of end-around.

Turner has raised money throughout the fall and hauled in more than $400,000 at a recent fundraiser for his state representative campaign despite the fact that he does not have an opponent. Bell is asking for an injunction to be issued prior to Feb. 1.

It looks like Rep. Turner could very well have a million in the bank when the reports come out in mid-January. Does that give him frontrunner status? How about the fact that he’s run for Mayor twice before and has been serving in the legislature since 1989? Was he given frontrunner status when he was the only African-American in the race and a favorite to win a huge chunk of H-Town’s African-American vote? Does a Ben Hall candidacy now alter the thinking on the African-American vote?

Can there only be one frontrunner? Who would be the other frontrunner or frontrunners? Does it matter?

It really doesn’t.

A million bucks in the bank is probably more than what the others have at this point.

At some point all the campaigns are going to have to lay out some of their cards. They are going to have to show us their campaign team. They are going to have to show us a list of supporters – campaign donors, community leaders, elected officials, activists – you get the picture. They are also going to have to start discussing their vision and priorities for H-Town. By the time the first major campaign finance reports are turned in next July, we will pretty much have an idea on who will own frontrunner status. If a candidate raises a couple of million by then – who knows?

We have a long way to go folks. The campaigns are still being put together.

Morgan Ensberg of course was the last ‘Stro third baseman to make it to the MLB All Star Game – 2005.

Jose Altuve finished in 13th place in the AL MVP Award voting. It should have been higher.

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