Locke v. Brown

So here’s the new Gene Locke ad:

Everybody noticed the pause, right? Hey, if the electorate isn’t paying close attention to the details, you may as well make the most of it where you can.

And here’s the Chron story about Locke taking to the radio to attack Peter Brown:

The 60-second spot, the first paid negative advertising in the campaign, makes a direct appeal for black voters to choose Locke, the only African-American in the race.

“Peter Brown is spending millions of dollars in this mayor’s race because he can’t match Gene’s longtime record of service,” former City Councilman Jew Don Boney, associate director of the Mickey Leland Center for World Hunger at Texas Southern University, says in the ad. “But our community is not for sale.”

You can listen to the ad here (MP3 file). Two things I’ll add to this. One, whether or not you believe that Chron poll – Dr. Murray expresses his skepticism about it – I think it’s safe to say that Locke believes he is either behind Brown, or not ahead of him by enough to feel comfortable about it.

Two, I disagree with what is written here:

The ad underscores Locke’s surprisingly tenuous place among one of the most formidable blocs of voters in the city less than two weeks before the Nov. 3 election. Former Mayor Lee P. Brown is widely credited with winning three elections based on his strength in areas with high African-American populations. Some analysts have cited state Rep. Sylvester Turner’s failure to win a similarly high amount of voters as a key factor in his 2003 loss to Mayor Bill White and Orlando Sanchez.

I don’t know which analysts Olsen and Snyder have talked to, but that’s the first I’ve ever heard it suggested that Sylvester Turner did not get enough of the black vote to win in 2003. Taking a look in the wayback machine, here’s George Strong gaming out how the vote that year might go:

Assumption: 300,000 voters in first election. 25 % are African-American, 15 % are Hispanics and of the remaining 60% Anglos, a third of those are Democrats, Gays, Labor, etc.

African Americans: A Total of 75000 votes. Tuner would get 75% or 56250 votes. The remaining 25% (18750) would be split with White getting 75% of that vote or 14062 votes and Orlando the remainder or 4688 votes

Hispanics: A Total of 45000 votes. Orlando would get 60% or 27000. Of the remaining 18000 votes the White would get 80% or 14400 votes and Turner the rest 3600

Anglos: A total of 180,000 votes. Orlando would get 50% of the Anglo vote or 90000. Of the remaining 90000 votes Bill White would get 70% or 63000 votes and Turner would get 27000.

In this scenario Orlando would have 121,688. White would come in second with 91462 votes and be in a runoff with Orlando. Turner would trail with 86850 votes.

Strong overestimated Sanchez’s strength and underestimated White’s but he sure did nail Sylvester Turner’s number. And after the fact, he printed this analysis from Dr. Murray. It’s a little hard to read, but here’s the crucial bit:

Table 3 shows White got some votes in all racial/ethnic groups in the first round, and had very broad and substantial support in the runoff. His voter coalition was the broadest of any winning mayor since Kathy Whitmire’s in 1981.

Table 3. Estimated Vote Share in Different Voter Precinct Groupings in 2003 General Election Runoff White% Sanchez% Turner% White% Sanchez% Racial/Ethnic Anglos…………………. 46% 48% 6% 48% 52% Blacks……………………18% 1% 81% 96% 4% Hispanics………………..46% 47% 7% 56% 44% Asians………………… ..70% 25% 5% 72% 28%

Murray pegged Turner’s level of support among African-Americans in the November election at 81%. That’s from looking at the actual canvass, not from a pre-game estimate. Turner’s problem wasn’t the black vote, it was the non-black vote – six percent of Anglos, seven percent of Hispanics, five percent of Asians. I have no idea who suggested otherwise, but whoever it was, I’d like to know how exactly he or she arrived at that conclusion.

Anyway. Since then, the Brown campaign has responded with some comments from various African-American leaders, and Locke has responded as well – one of his supporters who wanted to clarify what he said in the Chron story, actually. The releases are beneath the fold. I’m thinking they’re not exactly unhappy about this turn of events at Annise Parker headquarters. Miya and Martha have an interesting takes on this as well.

UPDATE: It’s probably not a coincidence that Parker picked this moment to announce the endorsement of State Rep. Garnet Coleman. I’ve put her press release beneath the fold as well.

UPDATE: Brown responds with a radio ad featuring the Rev. James Dixon. It’s very effective, so give it a listen.

UPDATE: The press release war continues. Whoever said that Friday afternoon was a time for dumping news you hope will go unnoticed? Brown is calling a press release Sunday with numerous supporters in Acres Homes. Locke announces his own list of 100 clergymen. As Nancy Sims remarks, now things have gotten interesting. Must have been that Houston Press cover that did it.

Community Leaders Respond to Locke Attack Ad

In response to Locke’s attack on Peter Brown several community leaders respond, outraged at the Locke campaign’s false assertions.

Bishop James Dixon
“Some have suggested that I have received money for supporting Peter Brown for Mayor,” said Bishop James Dixon. “That is a lie. I’m supporting Peter Brown because he protects our schools and preserves our neighborhoods. Peter Brown is the only mayoral candidate who has consistently stood with the African American community. Now, myself and others are standing with him.”

Rep. Alma Allen
State Representative Alma Allen responded as well. “If Gene Locke is implying that Peter Brown bought his support in the African American community he needs to check his facts,” said Allen. “I am supporting Peter Brown for mayor because of the deep commitment Peter has to Houston’s future. My support is not for sale.”

Pastor James Nash
Pastor James Nash went a step further and called on Locke to apologize for his advertisement. “Peter Brown has proven time and time again that he will be there for Houstonians – all Houstonians,” said Nash. “I call on Gene Locke to apologize to those of us he accused of being bought. Peter Brown’s track record of service in Houston speaks for itself.”

Pastor David Punch
Pastor David Punch also called for an apology from Locke. “I am appalled and offended that Gene Locke would make such accusations,” said Punch. “Peter Brown is a man of integrity, he has been a genuine friend to our community. We support him because he has been there for us prior to this race for mayor. Locke should apologize to the ministers supporting Peter for such offensive accusations.”

Although the negative attacks have been flying on the campaign trail for several weeks, Locke’s radio spot – which began airing on Wednesday – is the first piece of negative paid advertising in the race for mayor.

“Our opponents have been going negative on the campaign trail for several weeks while Peter Brown has been offering real solutions to make Houston better – solutions that voters are clearly responding to,” said Brown’s campaign manager Lucinda Guinn. “It’s unfortunate that Gene Locke is taking his negative attacks to the next level. Peter Brown is proud to have the support of community leaders such as Rev. William Lawson, Dr. DZ Cofield and others who know Peter is working to improve Houston for everyone.”

Statement by Deloyd Parker
October 23, 2009

“Contrary to what was reported in the Houston Chronicle today, I am an enthusiastic supporter of Gene Locke to become Houston’s next Mayor. I have known Gene for more than 40 years and we have spent many hours, days, months and years working together to make a difference in Houston’s communities.

The Chronicle article implied that I have not made my mind up about who I am supporting for mayor. I have. I am supporting Gene Locke. As the Executive Director of the S.H.A.P.E. Center, a non-profit agency, I cannot endorse a political candidate. But as a private citizen and voter, I can say without a doubt, Houston needs Gene Locke as our next mayor.”

In the latest in a series of key endorsements, Texas State Representative Garnet Coleman announced his support for Annise Parker for Mayor.

“Annise Parker has the experience and vision we need to get us through these tough times,” said Coleman. “I’m supporting Annise Parker because she believes in fairness – and for the last 12 years has proven that when we call on her, she’s there for us.”

Parker said, “I am blessed to have a friend like Garnet Coleman – who works so hard for all of us. And I am especially honored by his support for my campaign.”

Coleman’s support comes on the heels of an impressive string of endorsements from a broad-based coalition of organizations and individuals. Coleman joins the tens of thousands of Houstonians supporting Annise Parker, including former State Representative and Candidate for U.S. Senate Rick Noriega, State Representatives Ellen Cohen, Jessica Farrar and Scott Hochberg, Harris County Board of Education Trustee Jim Henley, the Houston Chronicle, Semana News, Que Onda Magazine, African American News & Issues, Annie’s List, EMILY’s List, the Harris County Democrats and the Harris County Young Democrats, the Houston Federation of Teachers, the Houston Police Patrolmen’s Union, Houston Metro Police, the Harris County Afro-American Sherrif’s Deputy League, HOPE Local 123, SEIU Local 1, UNITE HERE Local 25, the Harris County AFL-CIO Council, Seafarers International Union, Plumbers Local Union No. 68, Houstonians for Responsible Growth, Houston GLBTPC PAC and a multitude of local political bloggers, to name a few. A full list of endorsements can be found at www.AnniseParker.com/Supporters.

Representative Coleman has served the Houston area in the Texas House of Representatives since 1991, and has built a substantial body of accomplishments at the national, state and local levels of government. His leadership is known and respected throughout Houston and his endorsement will carry substantial influence.

“Annise has strong ideas about creating jobs and making our neighborhoods safer,” said Coleman. “These choices are never easy, and I have more than one good friend in this race. I have been a longtime supporter and friend of Annise Parker. I gave my support to Annise a little less than two years ago, because of her qualifications. Please join me in voting for my good friend Annise Parker for Mayor.”

The Gene Locke campaign today released their list of ministers and ministerial organizations that have endorsed him for mayor. This is in addition to the many community organizations and elected officials who have previously endorsed Locke.

The campaign held a minister’s breakfast on Thursday, October 22, 2009 that drew over 60 of the ministers who are supporting Locke. This was one of several breakfasts the campaign has held with members of the clergy since Locke entered the race for mayor.

“It is important that we get behind Gene Locke as our candidate for Mayor. It is imperative that we inform our families and friends of this committed and visionary leader,” said Pastor Kirbyjon Caldwell, Windsor Village United Methodist Church.

“As Gene Locke’s pastor, I know him to be a man of integrity and faith. I also know he has the intellect, vision and broad experience necessary to make Houston an even greater city,” said Dr. Marcus D. Cosby, Sr. Pastor of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church. “Gene Locke is the best person to lead our city and we need to do everything we can to make sure our parishioners go to the polls and vote for him.”

“I have always said there is nothing more important to me than faith and family. These are the values I will bring to City Hall and I feel honored and blessed to have so many from the faith community who are putting their faith and trust in me,” said Locke at the breakfast. “I am excited that I have been able to bring together a such diverse group of supporters from every corner of the city. I look forward to doing the same as mayor.”

Locke is the only mayoral candidate who has endorsements from business, labor, Houston police and firefighters, Democrats, Independents, Republicans and the Houston Chronicle.

Below is a list of ministers, organizations and African American elected officials who have endorsed Locke for Mayor.


Rev. Lionel Aaron
Bishop David Allen Sr
Rev. Albert Baker
Rev. Ida Baker
Rev. Leonard Barksdale
Rev. Vernon Bell, Jr.
Rev. Elaine Benson
Rev. Donald E. Booker
Rev. Gusta Booker, Jr.
Rev. Melvin Braford
Rev. Ruben Brazille
Rev. O.B. Winkley
Rev. Carl L. Brock
Bishop P.E. Bryant Sr.
Rev. Kevin Bullock
Rev. Andrew Burks
Rev. Charles Butler, Jr.
Rev. Don Caggins
Rev. Kirbyjon Caldwell
Rev. James Carrington
Rev. Harvey Clemons, Jr.
Rev. Myron Cloyd
Rev. Dennis D. Collins
Rev. Samuel Compton
Rev. Marcus Cosby
Rev. Walter Cosby
Rev. Joe Dancy
Rev. Roderick Dawson
Rev. Reginald De Vaughn
Rev. Taylor Dimes
Rev. Leonard Favorite
Rev. Michael Felder
Rev. Louise Fordham
Rev. John C. Gibbs
Rev. L.E. Gibbs
Rev. Joe Ratliff
Rev. Remus Wright
Rev. Paul Giddings
Rev. S.J. Gilbert, Jr.
Rev. Julius Glass
Rev. James Earl Glenn
Rev. Robert Green
Rev. Leo Griffin
Rev. Hunt Harris
Rev. Ricky Bell
Rev. Joyce Hill
Rev. E.D. Hodge
Rev. Willie Hunter
Rev. Leon Jackson
Rev. Robert C. Jefferson
Rev. Manson B. Johnson
Rev. Rhenel Johnson
Rev. Willie Jordan
Bishop Rufus Kyles, Jr.
Rev. Royce Lemon
Rev. Kenneth Levinston
Rev. James Lightfoot
Rev. James Lovelady
Rev. Darrell Luckett
Rev. Ernest Mcgowen, Sr.
Rev. Carl Melton
Elder W. J. Collins
Rev. Bobby Morgan
Rev. Tremail Prudhomme
Rev. Brenda Perry
Rev. Gwen Pierre
Rev. Raymond Robinson
Rev. Eddie Reed, Jr.
Rev. Linda Robinson
Rev. Hermann Reese
Rev. Raymond Robinson
Rev. Jo Anne Valley Rush
Rev. R. L. Thompson
Rev, Clethous Montgomery
Rev. Terry Anderson
Rev. Ricky Williams
Bishop Floyd Lewis
Bishop Delegrantiss
Rev. Cleothus Montgomery
Rev. Carl Matthews
Rev. Robert Mckinley Gilmore, Sr.
Rev. J.C. Nickerson
Bishop Hewitt Richardson
Rev. Asa Sampson
Rev. L.C. Sidley
Bishop J.W. Smith
Rev. Ronnie Sneed
Rev. Robert Staggers
Rev. Herbert Strohman
Rev. Kirk Thompson
Rev. Randall Tucker
Rev. Oscar E. Walker
Rev. Romanuel Washington
Rev. Howard Watson, Sr.
Rev. Gary Watson
Rev D. J. Watson
Rev. Larry E. Williams
Dr. Michael P. Williams
Bishop J. Douglas Wiley

Elected Officials

U.S. Rep. Al Green
State Representative Harold Dutton
State Sen. Rodney Ellis
County Commissioner El Franco Lee
State Representative Senfronia Thompson
Constable May Walker


Houston Black American Democrats
Teamsters Local Union No. 98
Afro-American Sheriff’s Deputy League
Independent Electrical Contractors Association Texas Gulf Coast Chapter
United Steelworkers Local Union 13-1
United Food & Commercial Workers Union
African American Police Officers League
Houston Metropolitan Pleasantville Voter’s League
International Longshoreman Association
African Coalition PAC
Harris County Council of Organizations
Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce PAC
Harris County AFL-CIO
Houston Hispanic Fire Fighter Caucus Local 341 Communications Workers of America Local 6222
Harris Councy Tejano Democrats
IBEW Local 66
Texas Carpenters Millwrights Regional Council Local 551
Houston 80-20 Asian American PAC
Latino Labor Leadership Council
Northeast Harris County Ministers Alliance

Houston City Council Member and Candidate for Mayor Peter Brown will hold a press conference, joined by ministers and other community leaders to discuss their support for his candidacy and his record of results for the community.

WHO: Candidate for Mayor and At-Large City Council Member Peter Brown, Bishop James Dixon, and other ministers and community laders

WHAT: Brown and community leaders hold press conference discussing their support for his candidacy

WHEN: 1:30 PM – Sunday, October 25.

WHERE: Acres Home Multipurpose Center. 6719 West Montgomery Road Houston, Texas 77091

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3 Responses to Locke v. Brown

  1. Michael says:

    Is it too early to call this as the most disappointing mayoral election in Houston’s history?

  2. Austin says:

    I think this is about to blow up in gene’s face.

  3. Pingback: Spending on voter outreach: The Mayorals – Off the Kuff

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