As I mentioned late last night, I attended a fundraiser/rally for Houston mayoral candidate Bill White. I chatted with a couple of people, including the chairman of the Harris County Democrats, an old friend from my Planned Parenthood volunteer days, and a friend of a coworker.
I had an urge while writing my name on my name tag to include my blog URL underneath. I resisted, on the grounds that it was both hopelessly geeky and shamefully egotistical. Turned it it didn’t matter, for when I started chatting with Mike Lester of the HCD, he told me he recognized my name from having come across my blog recently. That was simultaneously gratifying and weird.
I was impressed at how diverse the crowd was at this event. I’ve nattered on about coalitions and bases of support, but if this event is any kind of indicator, White has some crossover appeal. Both he and City Councilwoman Carol Alvarado, who introduced White before his short speech, made several mentions of the varied backgrounds that were evident. Both of them threw a few barbs at Orlando Sanchez, though he was never mentioned by name. The crowd lapped it up.
White gave a decent, if fairly canned, speech which emphasized positive themes – he twice referred to “taking the city to the next level”. He only spoke for about five minutes – the event was at the Cadillac Bar, and there was food, drink, and music to compete with – so while he touched on his wish to improve mobility and city services, he didn’t get specific. I would have loved to have been at the recent Downtown Houston Association event at which he spoke, but I couldn’t make it fit in my schedule. I do hope to hear him give a more substantial speech in the future.
I mentioned to a couple of the people that I spoke to my growing sense that Sylvester Turner is hosed in this mayoral race. He’s damned lucky that the Rockets caved quickly, before his representation of Les Alexander became a big stinking dead fish that permeated his campaign, but he’s still going to have to deal with Democratic resentment that he didn’t join the Ardmore walkout and the likelihood that he’ll be back in Austin for the month of June. I have a blue-sky scenario of Turner dropping out and endorsing White, which could actually put him in a position to win a majority of the votes on Election Day and avoid a runoff altogether. It’s sweet to think about, that’s for sure.
All in all, an hour well spent. This should be an exciting campaign.