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Endorsement watch: Two more for White

The San Antonio Express News comes down firmly in Bill White‘s corner.

White is not flashy, but he is extraordinarily solid. He brings a strong resumé and a quiet confidence to the table.

White served three productive terms as mayor of Houston. He successfully dealt with a massive number of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, maintained fiscal discipline and led the way on a broad effort to reduce energy consumption and pursue sustainability.


White’s parents were San Antonio school teachers, and he has demonstrated his commitment to educational opportunities for Texas children. As mayor he created a program that sent volunteers to knock on the doors of dropouts to help them get back in school. His approach has been adopted in other cities, including San Antonio.

In general, White favors more local decision-making and fewer unfunded mandates. That translates into support for a crucial local-option bill needed to allow communities more flexibility to finance their own transportation projects if they choose.

The Dallas Morning News also backs White.

White has worked well with business leaders and environmentalists in guiding the nation’s fourth-largest city to creating jobs, redeveloping neighborhoods and developing new parks. He knocked on doors to get children back into class while simultaneously leading an effort to raise more than $100 million for Houston’s public schools.

White cites Texas’ educational challenges as a major reason for wanting to unseat incumbent Republican Rick Perry. While White, a Harvard graduate, has yet to strike a Barack Obama-like independence in some areas from the education lobby, he nonetheless has solid ideas to expand preschool offerings, attract and retain good teachers and create summer opportunities for students to hone math and science skills.


Democrats should avoid the dramatically unprepared [Farouk] Shami’s outsider appeal. His naive preference for education benchmarks that would vary from district to district over statewide standards could jeopardize the futures of countless children on the whims of geography. He also wants to shut down the state’s coal-fired power plants, which might have gut-level appeal but ignores the current absence of a reliable replacement.

We live in a time of frustration with politicians, but Democrats should avoid an anti-politician whose answers don’t add up, especially with such a superior alternative. Texas is increasingly a melting-pot state, and White’s guidance of a diverse Houston gives Democrats a tested candidate who understands the state’s future.

The DMN also endorsed KBH in the GOP primary, to no one’s surprise. Still no endorsements yet from the Chron, but I understand they’ve had a cattle-call meeting with all of the judicial candidates, so expect the flood to begin soon, hopefully tomorrow.

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