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Endorsement watch: Tejano Democrats

Well, I know they endorsed Gene Locke for Mayor, because I received a press release to that effect last night, which is reproduced below. I also know that the Tejano Dems were going to endorse a full slate of candidates, but as yet I’ve not seen any further information about what happened at their meeting last night, so this is all I know. I’ll update when I hear more.

Here’s Locke’s press release:

In a close vote tonight of the Harris County Tejano Democrats, Gene Locke won a majority of the voting members.

On the heels of the endorsement by several Latino elected officials and community leaders earlier this week, Locke captured the coveted endorsement of one of the oldest grassroots Democratic clubs in Harris County.

The excitement for Locke in the Hispanic community is unsurpassed in the mayoral race. On July 18th, Locke won the campaign’s first debate, the Latino Summit Mayoral Debate, when a panel of uncommitted voters declared him the clear winner over his three opponents.

At the Tejano Democrats endorsement meeting tonight, Locke was nominated by State Senator Mario Gallegos and State Representative Carol Alvarado.

Late in the evening, a group of more then 200 Tejano Democrats cast two separate votes to endorse in the 2009 mayor’s race. Locke won the initial vote with 100 votes, Annise Parker received 98 votes and Peter Brown received seven votes. Since no candidate received a majority, a second vote was held between the top two vote getters, Locke and Parker.

In the second vote Locke picked up four votes to Parker’s two and won the endorsement by a vote of 104-100.

“I am very proud to have received the endorsement of the Tejano Democrats, an organization that fights for working people. This one was personal,” said Locke. “Tonight was a great night, it has been a great week, si se puede!”

Sounds like it was a very interesting meeting, if all of the votes were close like that. I can’t wait to see some further communications. In the meantime, I got an email last night from Brandon Webb of the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats telling me that their full slate of endorsements is now online. My thanks to him for that.

UPDATE: Via email from Carl Whitmarsh to his listserv, here is the full list of endorsees:

Mayor: Gene Locke
Controller: No endorsement
At Large #1: Herman Litt
At Large #2: Sue Lovell
At Large #3: Melissa Noriega
At Large #4: C.O. Bradford
At Large#5: Jolanda Jones
District A: Lane Lewis
District B: No endorsement
District C: No endorsement
District D: Wanda Adams
District E: No endorsement
District F: Mike Laster
District G: No endorsement
District H: Ed Gonzalez
District I: James Rodriguez

According to Whitmarsh, no candidates for Controller came before the Tejano Dems screening committee, and none showed up last night to speak before the group, so no endorsement was given. Bradford won a close vote over Noel Freeman, and Litt won by one over Rick Rodriguez in a runoff.

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  1. Baby Snooks says:

    The Houston Chronicle reported yesterday that Annise Parker paid for a number of people, I think it was 65, to “join” Tejano Democrats which gives new meaning to “buying the voters.”

    Many of these organizations sell the endorsements. It’s something we’re not really supposed to talk about. But should.

  2. Vergüenza says:

    This entire endorsement process was a total farce.

    ALL the mayoral candidates paid for their people to be there, and the Tejanos gladly cashed the checks. In effect, the endorsements were up to the highest bidder (who brought the most people in). There were over 200 people in the room, but if you got rid of all the people candidates brought in to vote for them, there were probably only 40 or 50 people who were actually real members of the organization.

    If you look only at how the “real” membership voted, the endorsements would have turned out very different. Locke, Litt, Bradford and Jones would not have been endorsed had it not been for the sham that was perpetrated last night.

    It’s sad because it diminishes the value of the endorsement and degrades the organization. In the end, the true will of the organization was railroaded and destroyed by the candidates’ manipulation of the process and the leadership’s lust for money.

  3. Baby Snooks says:

    According to the Houston Chronicle, only Annise Parker actually paid for their “membership” while the others only signed people up. She pulled the Big Daddy Lanier of “it’s perfectly legal.” So who cares about ethics?

    All of this is a waste of time. When Gene Locke pulls previous supporters of Annise Parker like Carol Alvarado, that’s pretty much an indication of who will win. And the race really is between Gene Locke and Annise Parker.

  4. […] essentially no money raised as of July 15. He has not won any endorsements yet; the Tejano Dems went with Herman Litt. All this backing puts Rodriguez on the map, and may position him to get into a runoff, but winning […]