Turner not running for Mayor

The Mayoral field for this November should now be set.

State Rep. Sylvester Turner announced today he would not attempt a run for mayor of Houston.

The 11-term Democrat representative’s announcement comes a little more than three weeks after he publicly acknowledged he was weighing a third run for mayor. Turner said he was considering a campaign after being asked by community supporters to get in the race.

“Although I believe the race is eminently winnable, a late entry into the campaign would have required that I drop every other project in which I am involved, community endeavors such as the Houston Astros Urban Youth Baseball Academy in Acres Homes and continuing my work in the Texas Legislature, to which I am deeply committed and thoroughly enjoy,” Turner said in a statement issued this morning.

Had he opted to run, Turner would have joined an already crowded field. Announced candidates include former city attorney Gene Locke, Councilman Peter Brown, City Controller Annise Parker, Harris County Department of Education Trustee Roy Morales and businessman T.J. Huntley. The filing deadline is in late September.

Earlier this month, Turner said he promised potential supporters he would consider a run after the legislative session concluded earlier this month.

I’ve got Turner’s full statement beneath the fold. I’d heard a couple of weeks ago that he was making calls to potential campaign contributors, as nobody serious gets into a race like this without some assurance that the resources needed to run a campaign will be there. Maybe he wasn’t getting the response he thought he’d need, or maybe he really just didn’t think he could commit to the race. I was somewhat skeptical that he’d jump in, so I can’t say that this surprises me. Greg has more, including some possible candidates in other races:

African Americans Rozy Shorter and Andrew Burks are considering contesting Sue Lovell for at large 2.

Green Party gay activist Alfred Molison has filed his treasurer designation to oppose District C City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck.

African American former assistant Texas Attorney General Lewis Cook has designated his treasurer to run for the District F seat MJ Khan is leaving and Richard Sedita has designated his treasurer for District G, the seat Pam Holm is leaving.

Shorter has been out there for awhile. Burks is a perennial candidate; his last race was for HCDE Trustee against Roy Morales in 2006. Molison ran twice in 2007, once in the May special election for At Large #3, where he finished tenth, and again in November where he was one of two candidates who ran against Clutterbuck, getting a shade under 6% of the vote. Cook has been in the race for awhile, but I don’t know much about him. Sedita makes five in District G, joining Mills Worsham, Oliver Pennington, Dexter Handy, and George Foulard.

Statement by Sylvester Turner on the Houston Mayor’s Race

“After careful consideration and consultation with a number of individuals, I have decided I will not run for mayor of the City of Houston in 2009.

Although I believe the race is eminently winnable, a late entry into the campaign would have required that I drop every other project in which I am involved—community endeavors such as the Houston Astros MLB Urban Youth Baseball Academy in Acres Homes and continuing my work in the Texas Legislature, to which I am deeply committed and thoroughly enjoy.

I thank everyone who took the time to discuss this race with me and the many, many supporters who urged me to run. I have much more to accomplish in my life and I will continue to work hard for the citizens of my district, my city and my state.”

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2 Responses to Turner not running for Mayor

  1. Alfred Molison says:

    Hello, Mr. Kuff.

    Is being a gay activist a badge of honor or a label of discrimination?

    Well, in my view to be a gay activist is a positive thing. I’m a member of the Lavender Caucus in the Green Party of the United States and a former member of the Log Cabin Republicans. I take a great deal of pride in being one of the founding members of the Log Cabin Republicans of Texas back in the mid 1980’s. Recently, I joined the Houston GLBT Political Caucus.

    Interestingly, although I’ve been part of the crowd of a handful of Gay and Lesbian organizations I’d hardly describe myself as a gay activist.

    One of the great things about being a Republican is never having to march in a demonstration. Now, some might accurately describe me as a Green party activist, sure.

    But to say I’m a gay activist is to elevate me to the level of Ray Hill and many others who have been at the forefront of the struggle for human rights. I have great respect for him and many others who’ve demanded, pushed back, and struggled against physical, verbal, and emotional violence against gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered people. I wish I had more time to be at the forefront for the community.

    I don’t think I have that level of positive stature. I’ve shown up at meetings, signed petitions for human rights, paid dues, donated and held an elected office in the Log Cabin Republicans. Recently, I paid dues to join the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and
    I’ll be asking for their endorsement.

    If those things makes me a gay activist then, great. I wear it with pride.

    My concern, however, is that my followership doesn’t raise me to the level of being a gay activist. Upon seeing that phrase I wonder if some readers of your blog might give me all the negativity of the label, but since I haven’t been overwhelmingly active in the community, I get little or none of the street cred. I don’t see myself as having much standing.

    Your blog has a lot of attention. Other news sources and blogs seem to be copying it. What do you think?
    Am I being awarded a badge of honor or being slapped with a label of discrimination? What do the members of the blogosphere think?

    Talk with me.


    Alfred Molison

  2. Alfred, thanks for the feedback. Just so we’e clear, “Green Party gay activist” was not my characterization of you. I was quoting from this article, which is where that phrase came from.

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