October 06, 2008
The current overview of the County Judge race

In many ways, the race for Harris County Judge has unfolded more or less as I thought it would. Except for one teeny little factor that I didn't anticipate at the time.

Earlier this year, Democrat David Mincberg appeared to have lucked into a perfect storm in his bid to unseat County Judge Ed Emmett.

Republican county officials faced scandal after scandal. Barack Obama's historic presidential campaign promised to bring in scores of new straight-ticket Democratic voters hungry for change. And Mincberg had plenty of his own money to air months of television ads to woo the electorate.

Then a storm named Ike came roaring ashore, sweeping Emmett's name, face and voice into the homes of county voters hanging on his every word about evacuations, cleanup and the distribution of much-needed supplies.

The result of this confluence of events is an unusually competitive race for chief executive of the nation's third-largest county, a powerful but typically obscure position held by only five men in the past 50 years.

As I wrote in my Guess The Chron Endorsement post, I think Emmett's performance during Ike will net the paper's recommendation for him. (Assuming that the Chron ever gets around to doing endorsements this year, that is.) I suppose the good news from Mincberg's perspective might be that most people didn't have power, and thus didn't see Emmett on the teevee, in the days following the storm. On the other hand, Mincberg's current ad campaign, in which he is critical of the response to Ike, risks getting a negative response. He can't not talk about the hurricane, but finding the best way to do it may be tough. All I can say is I hope there will be some polling data to analyze soon.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on October 06, 2008 to Election 2008

When I heard Emmett on my radio I envisioned him speaking while standing in front of his fancy Ed Emmett backdrop.

Posted by: Charles Hixon on October 6, 2008 3:39 PM
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