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Did I mention that election season is officially underway?

Why, yes, I did. Add to the Controller email shenanigans questions about who does or doesn’t support Peter Brown, which recalls his own curious dual endorsement from 2007; allegations about who is or isn’t a Republican, and allegations about Gene Locke and sexism. The latter is the most incendiary shot fired by someone that actually signed their name to it, in this case Annie’s List, which supports Annise Parker. I have three things to say regarding that:

1. Locke’s campaign has, by my observation, been the most aggressive so far in criticizing the other candidates, in particular Parker. Nothing wrong with that, of course, but sooner or later one will be counterpunched. Things don’t usually get more cordial after that. This Mayoral race is basically a Democratic primary, and these are the sorts of things that happen in Democratic primaries around here. Supporters and people involved in these campaigns seem to take attacks from fellow Dems more personally than they do from Republicans, and given that there are still grudges being held from the May special election in District H and its June runoff, that suggests next March’s actual primary could be a bit more uncomfortable than usual.

2. Along those lines, I hope Annie’s List is prepared for some blowback. The women who do support Gene Locke aren’t going to be too happy with the email that was sent, and some of them may be Annie’s List supporters who will be less inclined to do that now. Here’s a response from two prominent Locke supporters, from Whitmarsh’s listserv:

We were deeply disappointed to read the email from Annie’s List questioning Gene Locke’s respect for women. We have known Gene for years and can attest to his utmost respect for women. Gene is pro-choice and is supported by many Houston women. We are proud that Gene Locke continues to take the high road by talking about issues that Houstonians care most about and not the usual slander and political attacks contained in your email.

State Representative Senfronia Thompson and State Representative Carol Alvarado

I’m sure Bree Buchanan’s received a few irate phone calls in the past 24 hours. I wonder how she’s responded to them.

3. As for the charges made in the Annie’s List email, I thought the Sue Walden firing and the Ladies For Locke flap were the most substantive. I thought the latter was more amusing than offensive, but the official Locke response was weak, and given the visuals involved, it’s the kind of thing that will live on. If anything out of this hurts him, I daresay it’ll be that.

Finally, on a tangential note, Peter Brown has followed up his TV ads with the first mail piece of the race. I’m wondering when Locke and Parker will get into the game on these fronts. The longer Brown has the airwaves and the mailboxes to himself, the greater the likelihood that he’s swung some of those many undecided voters to his side. Speaking of which, I do hope there will be more polling in the race soon. This is a big, important race. It deserves more attention from the polling class.

UPDATE: Musings has some advice for all of the candidates.

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  1. JM says:

    I’m relatively new to Houston (3 years) and I don’t know much about the mayoral election, although I am registered to vote this time. Could you point me in the right direct to find more out about the candidates? I’d like to vote for somebody who will work with Metro to continue to expand light rail coverage in Houston and also somebody who is more progressive in terms of urban development and planning than what we have now (I think the setback rules need to be relaxed in the loop etc). I have no idea who to vote for at this point though.

  2. […] So far, I have not seen or heard of any pushback on the mailer, which distinguishes it from the hit piece they did on Gene Locke last […]