Given the headline "Race to replace Sekula-Gibbs a blip on the radar" and the fact that it was buried inside the Metro section today, I'll be surprised if we see another article on the May 12 City Council election. Barring some kind of "scandal" or publicity stunt by a candidate, of course.
Couple things to add to the piece, which didn't mention any actual candidates by name (there's a companion piece underneath, which I didn't see at first glance online, which contains a teeny bio and a brief statement by each contender):
"I don't think there is anything driving anyone to the May 12 ballot at the moment," said David Beirne, a spokesman for Harris County Clerk Beverly Kaufman, whose office administers elections.
Kaufman's office expects a turnout of 8 percent.
It would be foolish for candidates to spend resources campaigning to the entire city, political consultant Allen Blakemore said. Instead, they should focus on a small group of voters who are likely to show up at the polls, he said.
"A low-turnout election is not the place for TV, radio and billboard advertising. This is the time for direct mail, phone banks and grass-roots, door-to-door (campaigning)," Blakemore said. "None of these campaigns have a lot of money. They are limited in their ability to gin up interest."
"No one knows there is a special election," political consultant Marc Campos said. "This is going to be the hard core of the hard core who shows up."
Campos, who is not working for any of the candidates, said endorsements will mean more than usual in this race. Voters will look for cues from civic groups, police and firefighter unions, corporate organizations and other elected officials.
Because of the crowded field, a runoff in the race to replace Sekula-Gibbs is expected.
"These races are difficult to handicap," Blakemore said. "The more candidates and the lower the turnout, the less predictable it becomes. It's something of a crapshoot."