Dec. 12 – Houston Mayoral Runoff Update and Prediction (Original Post)
Well, its almost here – the runoff for Houston Mayor. Voters are clearly excited, more early votes have been submitted than in the first election in November. The two candidates, Annise Parker and Gene Locke, are fighting it out to succeed Bill White. In recent days, the battle has become more polarized. Parker would be the first openly gay mayor of the city and some of Locke’s supporters have been linked to gay-bashing campaign material attacking Parker. Locke, who would be Houston’s second African-American Mayor, has rebuked the attacks.
Gene Locke, who finished second in the initial race, should be heartened by an increase in African-American early voting and many commentators believe that he will also benefit from a rise in rates of Republican voting in the runoff. Although the race is non-partisan and both candidates would presumably run as Democrats if they had to, Locke is seen as the more conservative.
I predict that, despite finishing first in initial election, Parker will lose this race narrowly.
There are also runoffs in City Council Districts A – Brenda Stardig vs. Lane Lewis, Council District F – Mike Laster vs. Al Hoang, Council District at Large 1 – Karen Derr vs. Stephen Costello, At large 2 – Sue Lovell vs. Andrew Burks Jr., At Large 5 – Jack Christie vs. Jolanda Jones and City Controller, M.J. Khan vs. Ronald Green.