This article can basically be summarized as “Republican voters in Houston have a choice between three serious candidates who are all Democrats, and Roy Morales, and neither of those choices is particularly appealing to them”. I’ll put aside my sense of schadenfreude for a moment to make a couple of observations. One is that all three of the leading candidates will likely do all right among these voters. Gene Locke has as the story notes picked up a bunch of endorsements from Republican-leaning groups like the Houston Police Officers Union and the C Club, not to mention the backing of Bob Lanier, the last (final?) Republican mayor of Houston. Parker will do well with female voters, which will include a non-trivial number of Republican women. Brown’s dominance of the airwaves and mailboxes should help him get votes from those who like his vision. These votes aren’t going to Roy, and they’re going to go somewhere.
Having said that, it will be very interesting to see how the vote goes in heavily Republican areas like Districts A and G in the runoff, as those locations will have Council runoffs as well as the Mayoral one. I’ll be looking to see if there’s a higher rate of undervoting in the Mayoral race in those districts, as there’s always the choice of not making a choice at all.
And even if Republicans punt on the Mayor’s race, they can still exert some influence over the next Mayor’s ability to get things done by their choices in the Council and Controller’s races. I certainly got the impression from all the interviews I did that some of the candidates in Districts A and G are more likely to work with the next Mayor, and some are more likely to be resistant. Go back and give them a listen and draw your own conclusions. There’s also the Controller’s race, in which Pam Holm has sent a clear signal about how she intends to act in office. I wonder how many of them have paid attention to these possibilities.