So Close, But So Far, King Loses Houston Mayor's Race 51%-49%!
In a city that is almost 2-1 Democratic, Bill King, in the non-partisan Mayoral election came oh so close. Closing the gap after round one, King tightened the numbers to a miniscule 4,129 votes out of the 212,696 cast!
When races are so close, it is important to review what could have been done to achieve victory:
(1) The Turner side was happy to make the race partisan after the opening they were given by the Harris County Republican Party (remember Ben Hall is a Democrat and other efforts). The GOP voters in the city are greatly outnumbered, so "partisan-ing" the race only hurts our side. On the other hand, pressing liberals on issues does help our side, and we needed more of that. Simply put, to be successful in city races, it must be about ideology and not about partisan labels.
(2) Insufficient stressing of Turner's out of touch support of HERO (the men in women's bathrooms ordinance). This could have been done by third party advertising, but there was insufficient funding to do so. Reminding voters of Turner's identical position on HERO as Mayor Parker's would have hurt Turner among the 67% of voters who voted "no" and the 62% of African American voters who voted "no," including over 40% of Turner's voters!
(3) Turnout. With overall turnout at 21.42%, a GOP increase in turnout of as little as 26% and King would have won. Paul Simpson, HCRP chair, ran as the man with the plan to assist precinct chairs in boosting turnout. We didn't do any better than the Turner side despite "claims" by some of a herculean effort on behalf of King. The facts do not bear them out. We guess it's back to the drawing board.
(4) Did the lack of ballot security result in no dropoff in the runoff for Mayor? While overall, the Harris County city vote turnout dropped by 58,078 votes or 22%, the Fort Bend Turner vote was up 6% with 93% of the vote! Was there an effort to ensure fair voting there? For the sake of ballot integrity, this needs to be checked out.
(5) Is there a conservative future to lead City Hall? Maybe, it depends on the candidate and turnout. Twenty-one percent for our side doesn't get it done.
All in all, it's a sad day. If Bill King were allowed to get the city back to basics, it would have been a major step forward. Now all we can do is pray that Mayor-elect Turner sees the light.