This article about the ongoing National Conference of Black Mayors gathering in Houston talks about how the growing proportion of Hispanic voters in the state's population will make it challenging for cities like Houston and Dallas to elect their second black mayors. Interesting enough, but the bit that I want to talk about is this:
In the past three high-profile mayoral runoffs [in Houston] involving black candidates, a majority of Hispanic votes went either to white or Hispanic candidates, according to exit polls and other post-election analysis.
· In 1991, Anglo businessman Bob Lanier got more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote when he defeated Turner in a runoff.
· In 1997, Anglo businessman Rob Mosbacher got 54 percent of the Hispanic vote in his loss to Brown.
· In 2001, Cuban-American Orlando Sanchez took about 72 percent of the Hispanic vote in his loss to Brown.
The candidate who would seem to benefit the most from any increased Hispanic voting clout is Orlando Sanchez, but I have a few doubts. I've wondered before if he will get the same level of Hispanic votes in 2003 that he did in 2001. If he does, he'll be in a good position, though he'll still have to build on what he did in 2001 to win. If not, he may actually have trouble making it to the runoff, especially if Boy Wonder Berry succeeds in his attempt to peel away conservatives. I don't have a feel for it right now, perhaps because Sanchez hasn't officially announced his cnadidacy yet (his web page appears to be offline right now, presumably because it's still under construction for this year's race). Has Sanchez been reaching out to Hispanic voters? Has he worked on voter registration drives? Will he get a boost from party switching City Council member Gabriel Vasquez? Your guess is as good as mine.Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 23, 2003 to Local politics | TrackBack