Runoff overview: At Large #2

For a guy who’s run multiple campaigns for Council – more than he can remember – Andrew Burks is somewhat of a cipher. Let’s see what the Chron overview of the At Large #2 runoff says about perennial candidate Andrew Burks.

Andrew Burks Jr. is harder to pin down. He’s a lifelong black Democrat who ran once for chairman of the county party, yet he scored an A on the Texas Conservative Review’s questionnaire and had the publication’s endorsement for the general election when there were 10 candidates in the running.

Burks is endorsed by the county Republican Party. Despite a claim on his Web site that he is endorsed by a former At-Large 5 candidate Laurie Robinson, she said she has not endorsed him.

Asked about the city’s controversial drainage fee approved by voters a year ago, Burks said, “I was against it at first. The people spoke. Now, I’m with it.”

He said he would not support its repeal unless it was replaced with another flood protection plan. He learned firsthand the ravages of inundation during Tropical Storm Allison a decade ago when he entered his church in its aftermath and found it full of water and a copperhead on the piano.


Burks said he cannot remember how many times he has run for office. Chronicle research indicates this is his 12th run for public office and his seventh for a council seat. He also has run for state representative, Congress, county school board and party chairman. Two years ago, he took incumbent Sue Lovell to a runoff. Lovell, who is term-limited, endorses Thibaut.

For Burks, jobs are the campaign’s big issue. He proposes to lower business fees to make it more attractive for businesses to locate within the city. He also calls for a makeover of Houston Business Development, Inc., a city-established nonprofit that provides small business loans and support services for start-ups. He would like to start with a marquee outside the headquarters in Palm Center, and proposes bringing in experts from Rice University and the University of Houston to improve operations.


Burks was under house arrest for 40 days last year following his second DWI conviction. Burks said he had not been drinking nor driving, but that he had been prescribed improper medication at a Veterans Affairs facility, where he was in a parked car at the time of his arrest.

As a point of comparison, here’s the 2009 runoff overview story. The reason Burks has been endorsed by the GOP despite his “lifelong Democrat” status is likely because he welcomed the endorsement of Steven Hotze in the 2009 runoff. There are plenty of reasons not to vote for Andrew Burks, but that one would be sufficient for me. Beyond that, I just don’t know what to make of the guy. Like Griff, the impression I get is of a guy who’s running to run, not because he has some idea of what he wants to do if he wins. His finance reports are a mess, and he says ridiculous things – in that 2009 story, he talks about a “conspiracy of silence” that he can’t articulate. None of this is to say that he can’t win – he can, and he might. I just don’t know what we’ll get if he does.

There’s also some stuff in there about Kristi Thibaut. As someone who’s actually won an election before, she’s much more of a known quantity. I guess we’ll see what the voters prefer.

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12 Responses to Runoff overview: At Large #2

  1. joshua bullard says:

    again-lets go over the facts this time specifically for, charles kuffner-kristi thaubaut was a staff member for a rep in austin-she saw a lifelong black demoncrat who was a senator named OBAMA-making a move for president of the united states and decided to jump on his coattail and try to get elected-as a matter of fact-with out him she was quickly voted out of office-now she sees another lifelong democrat named andrew c burks and sadly again sees another opportunity to ride on another persons energy and try to get elected,when she was unable to garner positive support she attacked the super positive camp of andrew c burks with desperate allegations,now let me point out- i supported cohen fully-becuase she was the right canidate-just like i know andrew c burks is right for houston-no doubt in it,whats sad for me about the at large 2 race is andrew c burks was never interviewed on this site and the chron is watering down their endorsments-the other issue i take up personally with charles kuffner is why are you over their saying things like ” i just dont know what andrew will do if elected???” damn it kuffner- youve been saying that same old song and dance for the whole twenty years youve been here in houston about andrew burks-may i make i suggestion to you publicly-why dont you for the first time in your twenty years give andrew c burks the opportunity that you have refused to extend and give him a chance instead of dedicating your time and energy to taking shots at him like you did griff griffin-you see charles”we houstonians” were mostly born at night-but not last night-we know kristi thaubaut is out of turn and out of line for attacking burks and if you havent noticed we democrats dont take kindly to people that go negative againt a positive burks camp-andrew c burks is bringing all parties together in houston-in the bussiness district-and in our church-

    charles kuffner-i loaded the wagon and voted for andrew c burks at large 2-and you should-2.

    “i was inspired to write this comment because of my good friend noel freeman”
    respectfully submitted joshua ben bullard

  2. Joshua, I spend many, many unpaid hours of my own free time interviewing candidates. I don’t waste any of that time on unserious candidates like Andrew Burks. I’m sure you have a reason for supporting him, though as far as I can tell from all your verbiage you’ve never actually articulated what that reason is for doing so. I’m sorry if my position is unsatisfactory to you. Feel free to start your own blog and do your own interviews as an alternative to mine.

  3. Does it really matter for anyone that doesn’t live within the area that Kristi or Andrew live?

    Unlike, Sue Lovell, these people will fight for their neighborhoods and the residents that live there. We’re sorry that Sue is no longer CC since she’s been a huge advocate for high density development in Montrose. She was able to fight off green-space lovers and paved the way for new development in the area. We hope she does well with her future job, possibly with HEB.

  4. Houstonian says:

    Joshua probably won’t do his own blog, as only his ‘loaded wagon’ of family members would be likely to read it. ;-). I agree with your comment, and thank you for your time, talents and thoughtful daily analysis.

  5. Art says:

    Yes Charles thank u much! Youa re the guru on political news around this city. Youa r eappreciated..

  6. KTS says:


    With all due respect sir, you do not speak for Houston Democrats. Charles has been a valued asset to the City for his depth of knowledge and critical analysis, not emotive-driven hyperbole. I have been in and around houston politics for a very long time and know that Andrew Burks has proven he is a political chameleon. Kristi Thibaut has a track record and a history here – that counts for much more than Democrat-in-name-only.

    Thanks for playing!

  7. Paul Kubosh says:

    Charles, I would argue that Hotze is not as big of deal in the City of Houston as you might think. I know that you disagree with Hotze’s politics but I think you give him far to much credit. That is just my opinion. However, what do I know. While we have been involved in Republican politics for a few years now I can proudly say that I have a brother (Michael) who was asked to apply for membership with the C club and was rejected. (Talk about a waste of time) We were all asked to join the masons and got rejected there also. Can you believe it?

  8. Paul, I agree that Hotze is not the big deal he once was. But his positions are abhorrent, and no one who calls himself a Democrat should be willing to accept his support. That’s my beef with Burks, at least on this point.

  9. joshua bullard says:

    now that we have established for the record that charles has a beef with burks-i can live with that-thats fair-its more than youll get from the chron’s editors-now charles kuffner ‘lets not put the horse before the wagon and go off the handle and start cencoring anybody that wants to speak-
    thats the one thing you gotta be careful about the dems-they have rules and lots of them,and if you dont play by there rules they will kick you out and we dont need that.

    charles kuffner-i support andrew c burks becuase i came from the briar patch and over came 6 years of homelessness in houston from 1992 threw 1998-andrew c burks understands where i come from although i still am discriminated against by many people-such as noel freeman and others,i support andrew c burks because his opponent never really ran a camp-just sends lots and lots and lots of mail-you see charles kuffner its not exactly limited to district a-at large 5 ordistrict b-

    its the fact that district c didnt go to a run off that allows burks to hit the supertrifecta.

    but dont take my word for it-youll see on dec 10 2011

    ps-your beef with burks????is that the reason why he did nt get to interview on your blog?

    joshua ben bullard

  10. Jj says:

    But it’s okay for Thibaut to adopt Hotze style campaign tactics, eh? Putting a photo of her black opponent on a mail piece that only goes to Republican households. Nice. And stereotyping Republican voters, too. Double nice. I always reject Hotze candidates and will do the same with his tactics. Will have to be an undervote in that race when I stop by the polls tomorrow.

  11. Noel Freeman says:

    That’s a pretty strong accusation, Mr. Bullard. Care to explain exactly how it is I allegedly discriminated against you? Are you going to sue me for $1.5 million, too?

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