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Initial thoughts on tonight’s results

– My skepticism of those earlier polls that showed Peter Brown in the lead has been justified. Especially in what wound up being a lower-than-expected turnout election, I just couldn’t believe a survey of registered voters that was self-screened for likelihood of voting. Parker’s poll was much closer to the target; though it underestimated everybody else, it just about nailed Brown’s total.

– Though he finished out of the money, Peter Brown may now be the most sought-after politician in the city, as both Parker and Locke try to get his endorsement for the runoff. I can make a case for him to go either way, and I think he’ll take his time. He may make like Sylvester Turner and not offer a firm commitment to either candidate, or he may repeat his own history and endorse them both.

– Speaking of which, anyone wanna guess which way the Chron will go? Having Brown in the runoff sure would have made things simpler for them.

– Oh, and I don’t think it will matter if Roy endorses anyone. Seems to me if the people that voted for him actually cared about affecting the outcome of this race, they’d have voted for someone else the first time around. My guess is the vast majority of Roy supporters sit it out in December.

– As bland as everyone thought the race has been so far, I expect the runoff to be nasty. They always are. This is basically a Democratic primary race, and you know how those get. Plus, while I can’t speak for the candidates themselves, I get the distinct impression that Parker’s staff and Locke’s staff don’t much like each other. I’m just wondering where the money will come from for Round Two, especially for Parker. (Annie’s List has already sent out an email on her behalf.)

– Moving on, the surprise of the night was MJ Khan winding up in the runoff with Ronald Green. I totally did not see that coming. You have to wonder, if Pam Holm had spent as much on TV as Khan did if she’d have made it past the wire instead. On the other hand, spending on TV ultimately didn’t help Peter Brown that much, so who knows? I will say this much, if I’m Ronald Green I much prefer this outcome to a runoff against Holm.

– In the Council races, I’m a little surprised that Bradford won outright in #4, but in retrospect perhaps I shouldn’t be. I think his name recognition was an asset for him. I like Noel Freeman a lot, and I think he’d make a fine Council member, but he just didn’t raise enough money to counter that. In the end, with Freeman not doing all that much better than Garmon and Shafto, this was a Bradford versus non-Bradford race, and Bradford won.

– In At Large #1, it’ll be very interesting to see if the Democratic establishment picks a side. Many Democratic elected officials sided with either Herman Litt or Rick Rodriguez. Do they have a preference between Costello and Derr, and if so will they express it? Watch for that.

– I’m not surprised that Sue Lovell and Jolanda Jones wound up in runoffs, though I am a bit surprised that Lovell did better percentagewise than Jones. I do expect them both to prevail, though Jones has more work to do for that.

– The district races went more or less as expected. I figured Mike Laster would make it to a runoff in F but wasn’t sure who he’d be up against. Seeing the spending reports, I’m not surprised it’s Al Hoang. Kudos to Oliver Pennington for winning outright.

– In HISD, Mike Lunceford won going away in District V. Alma Lara and Anna Eastman ran close to even in District I. They will face off again, as will Larry Marshall and Adrian Collins in District IX.

– Expect a recount in HCC District 3, where Mary Ann Perez leads Dorothy Olmos Guzman by 44 votes. A grand total of 532 hardy souls, myself included, wrote in Eva Loredo’s name for District 8. Democracy at its finest there. The HCC annexation referendum passed in North Forest but was soundly defeated in Spring Branch.

– Sarah Winkler was re-elected to Alief ISD’s Board of Trustees. Of the candidates she was backing, Ella Jefferson won and Grace Parmar lost. The other race is in a runoff between Gary Cook and Marilyn Swick.

– By my count, about 180,000 votes were cast in the Mayoral election. My guess is that the runoff total will not be much less than that, and given the potential for nastiness may even exceed that. I’ll say again, if you voted in this race, expect to hear a lot from the candidates for the next one.

– Oh, and in the end, Bob Stein paid up on our bet, even though Brown failed to cover the three-point spread against Morales. I think he’s expecting a rematch in the runoff. My thanks to everyone at KHOU for having me in their studio this evening, and to Nancy Sims for being such an excellent person to pundit with.

UPDATE: As per Eric Weinmann’s comment, and Mike Sullivan’s in the “More thoughts” post, Alief ISD does not have a runoff. Thanks for the feedback!

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  1. Eric says:

    Thank you for bringing up Al Hoang. We have been working tirelessly for this victory tonight. Although we may not always agree on the issues, we respect your reporting and thank you for the hat tip. Onward to the run-offs!

  2. Eric says:

    Also, please note that Cook won tonight in AISD. AISD does not have run-offs.

  3. JJ says:

    The vast majority of Morales supporters WILL vote in the runoff, mainly because most probably vote in most elections and come from precincts that will vote for the down ticket races (such as Controller). So they will be out there for the runoff and many will vote just to defeat a candidate for a variety of reasons (like Parker).

  4. Baby Snooks says:

    I think everyone was surprised by the number of Republicans, one assumes they were Republicans, who voted for Roy Morales. Should be interesting to see if they vote in the runoff. I think you are right and they won’t. They wanted to send a message. And sent one I suppose. About illegal immigration. Not a burning issue in a mayor’s race. Despite some believing it is.

    Some have wondered if some didn’t vote assuming there would be a runoff and deciding to wait. Something wrong with that when you think about it. And perhaps something wrong with everyone “predicting” it which may be a matter of “self-fulfilling prophecy.”

    You do wonder why some even bother to register to vote.

  5. “AISD does not have run-offs.”

    Interesting. I thought state law required them in races other than even-year general elections. Am I missing something here?

  6. Eric says:

    I am unsure of the exact wording of the law, but I believe it is left up to the district so long as the population is under 200,000. I may be wrong on the reasoning, but I am 100% sure AISD is first past the post. The Chronicle has also given Cook the “W” for win outright.

  7. […] been for Holm’s, had it gone that way. The lack of a runoff in G helps Green. If I’m right about Roy’s voters sitting it out – and I note that Martha isn’t so sure about that – that helps Green as well. If […]

  8. […] Member Mike Sullivan sheds some light on my confusion about runoffs in school board elections. As a former school board member, I know the answer […]

  9. […] be the only endorsement that will be sought out and may make a difference. As you know, I don’t think Roy’s voters will be inclined to come back out in December, but I could be wrong about that. […]