2015 Houston Mayor's Race To Be Most Fascinating In Years
In a forthcoming broadcast of my show Red, White & Blue (to be shown on PBS TV 8 Houston on February 27, 2015), there is an in-depth look at the 2015 mayoral race set for round one in November.
With ten expected major candidates, it will be fascinating to watch. Those candidates, or rumored ones, are: Chris Bell, Jack Christie, Stephen Costello, Joe Ferreira, Adrian Garcia, Ben Hall, Bill King, Marty McVey, Oliver Pennington, and Sylvester Turner.
A couple of observations: The first round is best described as a jungle primary. The ticket to the runoff is as small as 11.5% of the vote, so the jungle is really a group of major constituency primaries. In Houston, you have the major groups: (1) Republicans, (2) Democrats, (3) Afro-American, (4) Hispanics, (5) white liberals, (6) LGBT voters, and (7) independents. Now, obviously there is some crossover vote that each candidate will seek.
Of course, those groups come in play after the first battle - the money race. Expert analyst and University of Houston professor, Dr. Richard Murray, opines the minimum ante to be a player is $1.5 million.
Another factor possibly in play is the Houston Gay Rights Ordinance Referendum that "could" be on the ballot in November. If so, expect a major boost in turnout in round one and that it will become an issue for the major interest groups.
And the fascinating possibilities don't end there. There will be a runoff and the final two have to assemble a coalition after what promises to be a divisive and hard found round one. In the runoff, there will be no referendum boosting turnout, and the two survivors will not have a long time to raise money and seek support from those (probably in the vast majority of voters) who supported someone else.
All in all this will be one interesting race to follow, and Texas Conservative Review and Red, White & Blue will be on the front lines of coverage.