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Endorsement watch: For Annise

As noted yesterday, the Chronicle endorsed Annise Parker for Mayor in the runoff election.

With city tax revenues eroded by the continuing recession, the next occupant of the office must be a prudent fiscal manager as well as a leader who can make hard decisions on spending priorities. That will require a detailed knowledge of the city departments that deliver services to citizens in order to wisely prioritize cuts and stretch available revenues to the maximum.

At the same time, the new mayor must also be a visionary focused not just on how things are in Houston but how they should be in the coming decades. Despite a hostile economy, the incoming administration will have to continue improving the quality of life in our increasingly urbanized metropolis. That will entail strengthening public safety, reducing air and water pollution, completing an area-wide mass transit system including light rail, and guiding land development to protect the character of long-established residential neighborhoods.

In the general election the Chronicle endorsed both Parker and former city attorney and public agency lawyer Gene Locke, her opponent in the run-off. As we noted then, they each “offer deep roots in the city and a dazzling range of life experiences and public service.” And our endorsement of Parker should not be taken as a diminution of the skills and qualifications of Locke, whose back story as a civil rights activist, steelworker and successful major law firm attorney offers a compelling narrative.

Houstonians are lucky to face such a difficult choice. But Parker’s background and experience offer a better fit for the mayor’s office at this point in time.

Obviously, I agree with all of that. As Nancy Sims points out, the Chron isn’t alone in coming to this conclusion for the runoff. If there is such a thing as campaign momentum, I believe she has it.

On a related note, you probably missed Friday night’s showing of Red, White, and Blue on KUHT channel 8. It was intended to be a straight up debate between Annise Parker and Gene Locke, except that Locke did not attend. So instead, it was a one-on-one conversation between hosts David Jones and Gary Polland and Parker about the issues of importance. It will be rerun tonight at 5:30, or you can watch the YouTube videos below:

Coby and Greg have more.

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2 Comments

  1. John says:

    I saw the show Friday and I still don’t understand why Locke did not show up for the debate. I have seen both speak at small gatherings and Annise was 1) realistic about the state of city finances and 2) offered real solutions and what her priorities were. Gene has all these plans for more cops, better schoolds etc (which everyone wants) but has zero ideas on how to pay for any of it. still it would have been nice if he had the courage to show up and debate Annise

  2. Baby Snooks says:

    Some are wondering if Gene Locke’s advisors have decided to just try their luck with African-Americans turning out in large numbers along with all the homophobes turning out in large numbers.