September 15, 2006
Guess the Chron Endorsements game

OK, I feel like it's time for something a little lighthearted. I had mentioned this before, and now here it is: the 2006 Guess The Chronicle Endorsements game. The object is to try to predict as many of the Chronicle's eventual endorsements for the 2006 election season. The winner will get a prize - I'm thinking an adult beverage of your choosing, but we can negotiate that later.

Anyway, the rules are as follows:

1. Anyone can play. Make all your guesses in the comments on this post.

2. All guesses must be made before the Chron starts endorsing. Lord only knows when that will be, but you're better off doing it sooner rather than later.

3. Your goal is to predict what the Chron will do. You're not saying who they should endorse, or who you'd endorse if it were up to you, but who they actually will endorse.

4. The offices that are in play for this contest are:

  • Senator

  • All statewide offices, including Governor, Lt. Gov., Comptroller, Ag/Land/Railroad Commish, Attorney General, and all Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeals seats

  • All Congressional offices in Harris County - CDs 02, 07, 09, 10, 18, 22, and 29.

  • All State House offices in Harris County, which is HDs 126 through 150. No point in bothering with the State Senate; there's only one contested seat, and we know who'll get that recommendation.

  • Harris County Treasurer. If enough people complain, I'll add in the Harris County judicial races, but this should be enough for everyone.

5. The scoring is as follows: For correctly guessing that an incumbent would be recommended for re-election, one point. For correctly guessing that a challenger would be recommended over an incumbent, three points. For correctly guessing an open-seat race, two points.

6. In the event of a tie, I'll come up with some hairbrained scheme to sort it out.

Got it? Go into the comments and leave your guesses. Here's mine, to get you started:

1. Senate - Hutchison. Offhand, I can't think of any Dem they'd be likely to pick over her. KBH is just Their Kind Of Candidate.

2. Statewides - All Republicans except for Chris Bell and Bill Moody. The Chron has endorsed Republicans for Governor for every year I've been in Houston (yes, they picked Clayton Williams over Ann Richards, and yes, I'm still mad about that), so I feel like I'm going out on a limb here. I just have this feeling that they're tired of Rick Perry, so I'm going against him. Before the Grandma Ballot Follies, I could've made a case for Strayhorn here, but given the idiocy of her campaign so far, I'm running with the hometown boy.

The case for Moody is essentially the one that the Morning News made for him. I think the Chron will see it the same way.

The one place where I'm not confident about my pick is Ag Commish. I'll be more than happy to be wrong about it.

(Note: Comptroller and Ag Commish are open seats.)

3. Congressionals - Lampson in CD22 (duh!), incumbents otherwise. I just don't think they have the guts to abandon John "I Hate Metro" Culberson. Again, I'll be very happy to be wrong about that.

(Note: CD22 counts as an open seat.)

4. State House - I'll start with the easy ones: All incumbents except for Diane Trautman in HD127, Sherrie Matula in HD129, and Ellen Cohen in HD134. They endorsed Dem challengers in 127 and 134 in 2004, and I don't see any reason why they'd switch back. Matula is the kind of candidate that they like, and I can see her winning them over.

The Chron endorsed Heflin over Vo in 149 last time, but that was when Heflin was the chair of the Appropriations Committee. There's no good reason for them to pick him this time.

The toughies are the two open seats, 126 and 133. I'm going to call it a split and guess Patricia Harless in 126, and Kristi Thibaut in 133. Both Democrat Thibaut and Republican Jim Murphy in 133 are the kind of candidates the Chron tends to like, so I think that one's a coin toss. Given that, I may as well root for the outcome I prefer.

5. Harris County Treasurer - Richard Garcia. Easiest pick of the bunch after Lampson. I think they'll approve of the abolish-the-office message, and will not like Orlando Sanchez's stated desire to turn the office into his personal soapbox for pet causes. I will be genuinely shocked if I'm wrong about this. This counts as an open seat.

There you have it. The floor is open, so guess away.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on September 15, 2006 to Election 2006 | TrackBack

I think it's important to remember that endorsements by the Chronicle reflect the views of the publisher, not necessarily the editorial board. Almost without exception, the Chron will endorse Republicans. Kay Bailey Hutchison seems a certainty, although the vast majority of editorials will then oppose Hutchison's positions. It's good for their bottom line (the Chronicle lives on ad revenue, remember?) to support Republican candidates.

Posted by: Dennis on September 15, 2006 12:26 PM

Don’t under estimate Chad Khan HD 126. I can see the energy and leg work in his campaign. In November probably you and Chronicle have a surprise on your Guess game

Posted by: Tobain ODonnel on September 15, 2006 11:32 PM

Chronicle endorsement are almost always pro-business incumbents.

1. Senate: Kay Bailey

2. Statewides: all GOP except Strayhorn and Bill Moody and Gilbert. They don't like Perry but will be unwilling to go to Bell. Gilbert is going way out on a limb.

3. Congressional: I mostly agree with you - Lampson, Henley and the rest incumbents. Metro rail is something the Chronicle believes in.

4. State house: Diane Trautman in HD127, Sherrie Matula in HD129, Ellen Cohen in HD134. Janette Sexton in HD122, and Kristi Thibaut in HD133. Janette may be going out on a limb but I am hoping they recognize the Christofascist Talton has become. I disagree with Charles and will pick Chad Khan in 126 who is getting a good slate of endorsements. The rest will be incumbents.

5. Harris County Treasurer Richard Garcia, I agree with you again - they know Orlando Sanchez.

Contrary to Dennis' comment, the Chron has not been a solid GOP endorsment machine. They have been a pro-business endorsement paper, which is why Charles is more likely right when we disagree this time.

Other races - they will go with the Harris County lawyers poll which last time favored all GOP incumbents except for one open seat.

Posted by: Gary Denton on September 16, 2006 6:18 PM

Here is the Harris County Bar Association poll for this year. They note this is a rating by lawyers and not an endorsement.

The prosecutor's office or the GOP seem to be getting more of their lawyers to participate in the poll looking at some of the ratings.

Posted by: Gary Denton on September 16, 2006 6:35 PM