January 09, 2009
More contenders

We're a long way off from the filing deadline for the 2009 City of Houston election, and the main sport in the meantime is the game of Who Might Be Thinking About Maybe Running For Something. Various names I can recall from the 2003 cycle who were at one time or another mentioned in the same sentence as "running for Mayor" include Ned Holmes, former City Council member Joe Roach, then-HPD Chief CO Bradford, and then-Council Member Michael Berry, who actually mounted a campaign before deciding at the last minute to run for Council again. I say all that as a prelude to this Houston Politics post by Alan Bernstein in which another potential Mayoral candidate is floated.

After Benjamin Hall III left as city attorney under Houston Mayor Bob Lanier, he was replaced by Gene Locke.

Locke is expected to run in the November election for Houston mayor. And now Hall says he is strongly considering becoming a candidate for mayor, too.

In fact, Hall said he has met with Locke about the race and hashed over the idea that two succeeding city attorneys would be among the contenders to succeed Bill White.

"Pretty ironic," Hall said.

Hall said he has not seen any other potential candidate championing the issues that he would want to pursue, such as using the city's energy production know-how to develop new energy sources.

Hall was mentioned as a potential candidate in previous mayoral races, but said his serious look at the contest this time is inspired partly by Barack Obama's "change" agenda.

I don't know much about Benjamin Hall, nor do I know anything about how serious he is this time around. What I do know is that the list of potential candidates we have now will surely differ from the actual lineup we eventually get. That's just the way it goes.

Meanwhile, while there are some names being circulated for the not-yet-but-almost-sure-to-be-open At Large #1 position now held by Council Member Peter Brown, Miya Shay reports on the first potential challenger to a Council member who (barring anything bizarre) will be running for re-election.

Having recently finished up an unsuccessful bid for State Rep. District 134 race, it looks like a young politico is willing to take on another big challenge. Carlos Obando didn't pose a serious threat to State Rep. Ellen Cohen during his last foray into politics, but he's hoping for a different set of circumstances this time around.

Apparently, Obando has decided to take on At Large Council Member Jolanda Jones.

Obando wasn't a serious threat to Rep. Cohen because he lost in the primary to Joe Agris, who then proceeded to do exactly nothing for the general election. Obando, who actually had a couple of visible yard signs during the primary, would have in my opinion been a bigger threat to Cohen than Agris was just because he would have made an effort. He still would have gotten crushed, as Agris was, but at least people would have known he was running.

As for this, well, I've been saying that more Latino candidates need to run citywide. This isn't quite what I had in mind, though I note in looking at that list I put together that half of the Latinos who had run citywide since 1997 were Republicans. Given how heavily Democratic the Latino electorate is here, that's out of balance. But hey, give them credit for making the leap. I'd like to see more Latino Democrats follow that example.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on January 09, 2009 to Election 2009
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