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Hall for all the haters again

Enjoy the attention while it lasts, dude.


Already a staunch opponent of the nondiscrimination law, Hall has become more vocal in the wake of last week’s Texas Supreme Court ruling that City Council must repeal the ordinance, known as HERO, or place it on November’s ballot.

From Twitter to television, Hall is using his criticism of HERO to set himself apart from the largely progressive mayoral field.

“There’s only one candidate in this race who has consistently for the last two years opposed HERO and supported the right of voters to vote,” Hall said in a Fox 26 segment that aired Tuesday. “When the pastors wanted to fight in the court system, none of the other candidates was present. I was.”

Most of Hall’s competitors have remained out of the HERO limelight, issuing a single press release about the Supreme Court’s decision or staying silent.

Five of them – former Congressman Chris Bell, City Councilman Stephen Costello, former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, state Rep. Sylvester Turner and businessman Marty McVey – have said they support the ordinance, while former Kemah mayor Bill King has tried to straddle the fence.

“I do not see the empirical need for a discrimination ordinance,” King said last Saturday, after previously saying he would not have put the item on City Council’s agenda.

Like Costello, King is seeking the support of Houston’s conservative west side.

Through a spokesman, King declined to comment Thursday on whether he would vote to repeal HERO.

“He’s between a rock and a hard place,” said University of Houston political scientist Richard Murray. “The right conservative base doesn’t like HERO, but the people who write big checks are more moderate on this issue.”


Even with the resurgent HERO issue, Murray said it is unlikely that Hall, who earned little conservative support in 2013, will have the votes needed in November to make the expected runoff.

As it was two years ago, Hall’s campaign largely is self-funded; he received contributions from just 36 individual donors in the first half of the year, taking in some $94,000, according to his finance report. Hall lent himself an additional $850,000.

“I don’t think you can ride that single issue into the runoff,” Murray said. “I don’t think it has enough resonance with voters that are so much more concerned about infrastructure and the deterioration of the streets.”

See here for the background. Let’s also not forget, Hall’s 2013 campaign was a disaster – no issues, no coherence, no organization. I don’t see any reason why this year would be different, even if this time he actually has a reason for running. It’s just that it’s a bad reason, and it won’t get him very far. I do agree it could cause problems for other candidates, primarily Turner and King, but that’s for them to sort out. Hall gets to have his name in the paper more often, and he gets some love from the bottom feeders. Beyond that, not much is different.

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One Comment

  1. Katy Anders says:

    It will be interesting to see if this issue can mobilize a group of Houstonians behind Hall.

    I tend to think not, but once we start hearing about men trying to kidnap little girls from ladies rooms again, who knows?

    I have confidence that Houstonians aren’t going to fall for it.