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Locke and Lanier endorse Parker

More support for Mayor Parker’s re-election bid.

Mayor Annise Parker on Wednesday scored the endorsements of her 2009 opponent Gene Locke and former Mayor Bob Lanier, two of Houston’s most prominent power brokers, as she prepares to ask voters for a second two-year term in November.

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“She’s bringing the city together,” Locke said Wednesday. “There’s a tremendous fiscal crisis facing the city, and I think she’s addressing that head-on.”

Lanier was mayor from 1992 through 1997. As mayor he appointed Locke city attorney, and he supported Locke two years ago. Since leaving office Lanier has continued to play an influential role in local politics. Candidates regularly call him and make pilgrimages to his home in search of his support.

“Times are tough, but so is she,” Lanier said. He said his support was based more on what he considers her straightforwardness and character than on her public policy stances. He said he also thinks that having a lesbian mayor is good for the city because it projects an image of tolerance and diversity.

Parker has not yet drawn an opponent for the November election.

You never really know what the value of an endorsement is, but having these two on Parker’s side certainly won’t hurt. As noted in the story, they represent another fundraising avenue that’s now cut off for anyone who might try to take on the Mayor. Having Locke on her side would help blunt the impact of a candidate like Benjamin Hall, if he were to decide to jump in. Keeping anyone who might be a threat from jumping in is probably the main point, though. We’re almost two months into the official fundraising season for the 2011 election, and so far nobody has, though rumors of Hall and Paul Bettencourt persist. Far as I’m concerned, they’re welcome to take all the time they want to make up their minds.

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