Endorsement watch: The score so far

We’ve had a slew of endorsements for municipal races this past week. I’ve been keeping track of them as best I can on my 2015 Election page. This isn’t always easy to do, because some groups are not very good at posting their endorsements anywhere. I gather, for example, that the HPFFA has made endorsements, based on these tweets, but so far no official list appears to be visible. Groups whose endorsements I have added to the page so far:

Houston GLBT Political Caucus
Houston Stonewall Young Democrats
Houston Area Stonewall Democrats
Democracy for Houston
Harris County Tejano Democrats

Log Cabin Republicans
Houston Police Officers Union
Houston Building Owners & Managers Association

I’ve separated the traditionally Democratic/progressive groups from the rest. There are still a lot of groups out there to endorse – HOPE (they have endorsed Sylvester Turner for Mayor but I’ve not seen anything else from them as yet), SEIU, Houston Black American Democrats, Houston Association of Realtors, Houston Contractors Association, the C Club, Texas Organizing Project, and the firefighters if they ever produce a list. Things may change as more endorsements come in, but here are my initial impressions on what we’ve seen so far.

Sylvester Turner has done very well so far. I had thought some endorsing organizations might want to keep their powder dry in this crowded field, but Turner has stood out with his ability to collect support from different groups. Given all the competition for the LGBT group endorsements, snagging two of them is an accomplishment. Stephen Costello nabbed the other two, with the nod from the Stonewall Young Dems being a bit contentious. Adrian Garcia got on the scoreboard with the Tejano Dems; I’m sure that won’t be his last endorsement. Chris Bell has impeccable credentials for some of these groups, but he’s come up empty so far. You have to wonder if they’re getting a little discouraged over there, and you have to wonder if their fundraising is taking a hit. Ben Hall is getting Hotze support; I’ll be interested to see if he buys Gary Polland’s endorsement in the Texas Conservative Review. Will also be interesting to see if a more mainstream group like the C Club throws in with Hall or goes with an establishment choice like Bill King.

My initial reaction to Chris Brown’s dominance in Controller endorsements so far was surprise, but on reflection it all makes sense. He’s really the only viable Democrat running – Carroll Robinson has Hotze taint on him, and Jew Don Boney doesn’t even have a campaign website. Frazer got the Log Cabin Republicans, and I expect him to sweep up the other R-based endorsements. Keep an eye on what the realtors and contractors do in this one, if they get involved at all rather than waiting for the runoff.

Lane Lewis has crushed it so far in At Large #1, not only sweeping the Dem/progressive endorsements over three quality opponents, but also picking up support from the police, firefighters, and BOMA, who didn’t endorse in any of the other three open citywide races. He won’t win any Republican endorsements, of course – I assume new entrant Mike Knox will, if he can get his campaign organized in time to do whatever screenings are needed – but at this point I’d make him a favorite for most of what’s left. Amanda Edwards has impressed in AL4, though Laurie Robinson has split a couple of endorsements with her and will be a threat to win others. Not clear to me who will take the Republican support that’s available.

I expected more of an even fight in the two At Large races with Democratic challengers to Republican incumbents, but so far Doug Peterson and Philippe Nassif have taken them all. As I understand it, Durrel Douglas hasn’t been screening for endorsements – this can be a very time-consuming thing if you are doing a solo campaign – so Nassif has had a clear path and has taken it. As for AL3, I get the impression that Peterson is considered the more viable candidate against CM Kubosh. I though both he and John LaRue were good interview subjects, for what it’s worth. CMs Kubosh and Christie have gotten the “friendly incumbent” endorsements so far, and I expect that will continue. CM David Robinson has gotten those and the Dem/progressive nods. I’ll be interested to see if HBAD backs Andrew Burks; I expect Gary Polland to give Burks some love for being a HERO opponent, but I don’t know if groups like the C Club will join in with that. Burks is doing his usual thing campaign-wise (which is to say, not a whole lot), so anything that requires an organized response is probably beyond his grasp.

Not a whole lot of interest in the District Council and HISD/HCC races. I’m a little surprised that Karla Cisneros hasn’t picked up any endorsements in H, but there’s still time. Ramiro Fonseca has done well against Manuel Rodriguez, who is deservedly paying for the rotten things his campaign did in 2011. Jolanda Jones still has some game. Beyond that, not much to say.

So that’s where things stand now. As I said, they may look very different in a month’s time. And as with fundraising, a good showing in endorsements only means so much. Plenty of candidates who have dominated the endorsement process have fallen short at the ballot box. So consider all this as being for entertainment purposes only, and take it with a handful or two of salt.

UPDATE: Corrected to reflect the fact that HOPE and SEIU are no longer affiliated.

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7 Responses to Endorsement watch: The score so far

  1. PDiddie says:

    The Saturday before the HGLBT Caucus endorsement meeting, I got door-hangers from Turner’s campaign… and Jack Christie’s.

    Not sure what list the latter is working from, but they need to keep using it. 😉

  2. joshua ben bullard says:

    keep in mind that andrew c burks and rivera carried huge amounts of votes in the general two years ago, david robinson came in second and went in to the run off weak, with the same players lining up for a rematch you can rest assured that a run off is inenvitable =once robinson is placed in a run off i will announce my political notice about his campaign so he can be properly judged by the voters = once robinson is placed in a run off i will make sure he isnt releected and will advocate for all of his city insider staff to be terminated from ther job positions.

    when the general public finds out what council member David robinson did to me ….to be continued …………

    joshua ben bullard

  3. Carl Whitmarsh says:

    Charles-Thank you so much for the initial look at Campaign 2015. Have to say not many surprises to me and your analysis pretty much aligns with mine. I think the Mayor’s race is absolutely fascinating and he dynamics will be interesting as they come into play. I think no doubt with the money, endorsements and the sizeable portion of the Black vote which he will receive, Sylvester is almost a lock to secure a place in the rn off. The next 30-45 days will be fun to watch to see who gains the other spot, which I honestly believe will come down to Bill King or Steve Costello with their establishment Republican support or possibly Adrian Garcia will hang on with the promise of increased Hispanic turnout – which we hear every election yet somehow fails to materialize. Unfortnately I think Chris Bell is dead in the water and I say unfortunate because this is a bright man who served well in those offices he occupied and in fact, should have been elected Governor of 2006 if Democrats had gotten off their rumps and done the necessary work. Since then a series of bad ecisions have dimmed Chris’ luster, but I must say, whether he is a winner or loser at the ballot box, he has shown to be a winner as a Father.. Ovr forty five years of involvement in all of this and I have never seen a more heart rendering presentation that the one Chris’s teenage son gave on his Dad’s behalf at Tejano Democrats. The Young Man spoke for his father completely in flawless Spanish and drew a standing ovation from the crowd. Not many kids could or would do that, but he did so with great poise, and not many Fathers have sons who would do that for them. A great credit to both Chris and Allison Bell of a young man we were introduced to when Chris was first sworn into office in 1997 and his son was crawling on the floor going in the swinging doors to the horseshoe in Council Annex. Ben Hall should just sit back and take it easy and have fun knowing his money is going for naught. A bright man, he has destroyed any hopes by being the candidate of hate. And Marty McVey, one of the brightest of the bunch should be paying for the future. He is one of the brightest bulbs in this current strings, he has impressed folks with his common sense and he has the desire and fire in his belly to make this a long term affair. Come the evening of November 3 I see a run off with Sylvester Turner and either Bill KIng, Steve Costello or Adrian Garcia. One thing they all need to do is reign in their staffers who seem to thin the campaign is more about them than the candidate. It’s not, the people of Houston don’t give a damn what a campaign consultant thinks, says or does or what they post on social media. They care abot the candidate and what he will do once in office.

    I think Charles is spot on regarding the Controllers race. Sort of refreshing to see someone like Chris Brown come in and dominate in ways we have not seen the last tree elections….but sill expect a runoff. Don’t know a whole lot about the At large races….I personally ope Charles’ assesment of At Large 1 where he says Lane Lewis is crushing the opponents is true. I know he is working hard. See little or no trouble for David Robinson if he keeps getting ot and hitting all the little gatherings and paying attention. Doug Petersen will will the progressive side of 3 and face Kubosh and then the games will begin. In 4, I am torn between Laurie Robinson and Amanda Edwards. both bring specific skill sets to the table and both would make great members of Council bringing some gender equity and diversity to Council. In 5, the slate looks cleared for Phillipe Nassif and he will face Jack Christie in a run off.

    78 Days to election day or decision day to decide who moves on to the next round. Voters are beginning to pay more attention and settling their minds on who they support. Watch between now and the beginning of mail ballot season for the really tough campaigning and fund raising. As always, you no have the cash, you no able to play the game.

    Sadly, all of this will be framed by the turnout for HERO. Despite claims of some, not a race will trn bases on personal interaction between the candidate/officeholder and a voter. And that is good in that we should keep the personal out of these types of decisions. It’s time to elect some common sense folk who are interested in making the changes needed to make sre that Hoston continue to be the city that works for ALL its people…..Again, thank you Charles for yor brakdown and for allowing me to expel a lot of hot air.

  4. Mainstream says:

    I am not a Chris Bell fan, but he has been a class act in this campaign, showing up to forums from whose audiences he is unlikely to gain any voters, and peppering his remarks with wonderful humor. His maturity and relaxed posture may come from the knowledge that the numbers (both as to voters and donors) just are not there for him in this contest, but he has contributed to thoughtful discussion of complex issues.

  5. joshua ben bullard says:

    one more thing = in the history of houston elections the highest vote count in an election in which there was one opponent to the sitting council member was a record of 99.5% of the vote which was captured by cm peter brown.if that has anything to do with anything. joshua

  6. Jeff Morrow says:

    Just wondering – do you know of any good sources for election news for Ft. Bend / Sugar Land elections? Since moving out to the ‘burbs, I’ve not been able to find as much information about what’s going on.

  7. Jeff – Try the Fort Bend Star and the Fort Bend Sun:


    The Chronicle has a Fort Bend neighborhood section as well, like they do for the Heights and other areas:


    They don’t do much local election coverage, and they generally don’t endorse in FB elections, however. I honestly don’t know how much of that the community papers do, but they’re your best bet. Good luck!

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