Omnibus election results post

I’m going to take the easy way out here, because it’s been a long day/week/month and I’m hoping to get some sleep tonight, and just hit the highlights. There will be plenty of time for deeper analysis later, and of course we are now officially in runoff season. There’s absolutely no rest for the political junkie.

– Obviously, the HERO result is deeply disappointing. I’ll leave the Monday morning quarterbacking to others, but I will say this: Whatever you think about this issue, get ready for Jared Woodfill to be the public face of Houston for a few days. There’s no way this is good for anyone.

– It’s Sylvester versus King in the Mayoral runoff. The runoff will basically be the campaign we should have had in November, which will be dominated by the Mayor’s race and not the HERO campaign and the avalanche of lies that accompanied it. Don’t expect the same crowd to show up in December – if I had to guess it would be turnout in the 150K range, as it was in 2009.

– The Controller’s race was reasonably according to form, with Bill Frazer and Chris Brown in the runoff.

– Four out of five At Large races will go to runoffs, with CM Michael Kubosh being the only candidate who can take November off. I suggested there might be some goofy results in these races, and we have them, in ALs 1 and 5, where candidates who didn’t do much if any campaigning are in the runoffs. The single best result of the night is Amanda Edwards’ big lead. She will face Roy Morales, who sneaked past Laurie Robinson into second place, in December.

– And the single worst result from last night, even worse than the HERO result, is Juliet Stipeche losing her race to Diana Davila. A terrible blow for the HISD Board. Jolanda Jones won easily, Rhonda Skillern-Jones leads but is in a runoff, and Manuel Rodriguez also leads but is in a runoff, with Jose Leal and nor Ramiro Fonseca. What a weird night. On the plus side, both Adriana Tamez and Eva Loredo won re-election to the HCC board easily.

– Mike Laster and Richard Nguyen are both in runoffs, in J and F. I feel pretty good about Laster’s chances, less so about Nguyen’s. Greg Travis is a close winner in G, and Karla Cisneros leads in H, Jason Cisneroz holding off Roland Chavez for second place; the difference between the two was in double digits most of the night. If there’s one race on the ballot where someone calls for a recount, it’ll be this one.

– I guess if you really wanted to change Houston’s term limits law, this was the election to do it. There was absolutely no campaign either way, and for all the shouting about “ballot language” in the HERO and Renew Houston elections, I’ll bet a large chunk of the people who voted for Prop 2 had no idea what they were voting for.

– All the county bond issues passed, as did all the state props, and Montgomery County finally got a road bond to pass. Hope it’s all you want it to be, MontCo.

I will have more to say later. For now, this is all the energy I have. I’m going to be looking for national reaction stories to the HERO referendum. I strongly suspect it will be ugly, and I expect the likes of Dan Patrick and Jared Woodfill to keep lying about it in the face of such blowback. But we’ll see. Thanks for reading, and I’ll post precinct analyses as soon as I can get my hands on the canvass. On to the runoffs!

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29 Responses to Omnibus election results post

  1. Jesus Gamboa says:

    So will there be a three-way runoff between CM Laster, Bigham, and Barrera in District J?

    The latter did surprisingly good. i suppose his trolling on local blogs were effective.

  2. Jesus Gamboa says:

    *was effective. Btw, that is not a compliment!

  3. Ross says:

    2 way runoffs only, with top 2 finishers.

  4. Bill Daniels says:

    It seems that disparate coalition of Democratic voters isn’t as strong and unbreakable as it seems. Looks like many of them bailed on their GBLT fellow voters, when push came to shove. I wonder how this will bode for Turner in the runoff? Will they be able to put aside their disagreement with Turner over that single issue in order to block vote for him against King? You’d think that at least some of them would recognize that the city will crater over loose fiscal policy sooner or later and appreciate King’s emphasis on the city improving its financial position and getting back to the basics, better roads, drainage, and the few other things that really ought to be nonpartisan.

  5. Temple Houston says:

    I don’t live in Houston anymore, but I must say that Houston’s journey toward world class city status just hit a major roadblock with the defeat of HERO. Welcome back to the old Houston, home of yahoos and bigots. (Yes, I know that’s not really true, but the reputation will stick — Houston IS in Texas, after all.) It will take a while to overcome that setback. Also, am I the only who thinks that Bill King lucked out and is now running against the only person he could defeat in the runoff?

  6. Temple Houston says:

    Correction, the line should read: “Also, am I the only one who thinks that Bill King lucked out and is now running against the only person he could defeat in the runoff?”

  7. General Grant says:

    Ultimately, the HERO vote came down to messaging. Dishonest though it was, the no side turned this into the “bathroom ordinance”. There was no effective countermessage from the yes side about equality, anti-bigotry, anti-racism, etc. Once this election became a referendum on men in women’s restrooms, it was over. No may have won anyway, but this was pure political malpractice by the yes side.

    Whatever the merits of relaxing term limits, and there are many, Prop. 2 was a frightfully poorly thought out solution. For a measly max tenure increase of two years, A. it increases the term length to two years, which is a completely separate question and one in which there was much less pressing argument to change, B. It applies immediately, meaning voters yesterday did not know whether they were voting for two or four year terms, C. It potentially extends the tenure for current officeholder a, which should never happen given term limits should be about process and structure rather than individuals, and D. It fails to stagger Council terms. If you have four year terms, all 16 seats don’t need to come up in the same year, as will happen now. Instead, 8 should come up every two years, a la the State Senate. This is especially true of the At Large seats. This is just sloppy work that should have been rejected.

  8. Steve Houston says:

    Temple, I predicted King would make the runoff last month and think he’d have better luck against any of the other candidates except Turner. Without HERO driving people to the polls en masse, what makes you think he’d win against Turner?

  9. DWJ says:

    How did HERO ever have a chance when supporters sat on the sideline for weeks while the opponents ran around screaming danger. Once that message sat in it was doomed.

  10. Kubosh still needs to be challenged in 2017

  11. Sandi says:

    Pure political malpractice is about the best description possible for the electeds who supported Hero. Kuffner made a point in a prior blog to state he thought hero unites came together rather quickly which isnt wrong, the grassroots effort wasnt bad … once it was already too late and the whole situation was a lemon created by Parker and council. I feel bad for all the idealistic kids on the facebook posts that appear to have been first time organizers. But maybe one day theyll take up an equality cause thst wasnt screwed from the top down before they even started and see a win from it.

  12. Danny Surman says:

    My basic thought about why HERO failed is that the short campaign timeframe and failure of Houston Unites to seriously respond to the opponents’ claims together brought down the ordinance.

  13. Steve Houston says:

    Joseph, doesn’t the ordinance keep Mike Kubosh in office for four years?

  14. Manuel Barrera says:

    Gamboa, my “trolling” on blogs had nothing to do with how well I did. My goal was to defeat HERO I made that clear when the Chronicle interviewed me. I used a minimum amount of my money to certain groups. If I had wanted to be in a run-off I would have been in a run-off but I did not see a way to win a run-off. But my goal of getting Laster into a run-off did work. But then again your question as to if all three of us would be a run-off shows your political IQ.

    Steve, my 60/40 was pretty close, wasn’t it?

    Steve, King has a chance, but all of them are ifs, will Hall just stay neutral? Turner from what we are hearing has already approached Garcia and there may be a police chief job available, time will tell if that is true.

    Kuffner is correct as to Nguyen, would not be surprised if Le wins.

    Gamboa how did Lane Lewis do? How about David Robinson?

  15. Julain Deleon says:

    I am pleased to see that Abel Davila, Herlinda Garcia and Art Aguilar had their Arse handed to them. I am pleased to see Manuel Rodriguez was forced into a runoff; it will not be easy for him because Leal came out of nowhere and made it to the runoff.

    Juliet is a huge loss to HISD. I am hopeful Jolanada Jones wins and gets into the weeds of HISD Contracts to ensure there is no funny business.

  16. Steve Houston says:

    MB, it wasn’t “your” 60/40, it was the prediction of a couple local polls, the same polls you described as “BS”. My stance on polls, local or otherwise, varies according to the methodology used in them, their predictive abilities widely varying. Their misuse by media is more interesting to me on an academic level, the same way statistics are so often abused by reporters who scraped by in Statistics 101 to get a degree.

    I wish Laster would lose, not that his opponent is wonderful but Laster’s ties and love of TIRZ programs may continue allowing them to suck the life out of the city at the expense of the general public’s interests. As far as Garcia being offered the city chief spot, I heard that rumor long ago as mentioned here, but given his lack of education when their various ranks need college degrees or get demoted, I don’t think that would be a wise move. Ed Gonzalez at least has a master’s degree and some experience in different aspects of the department, Garcia better suited to run for one of the constable spots next year.

    As far as King’s chances are concerned, I was curious why “Temple” thought King would fare well against Turner. I understand the general voting dynamics and a number of “what if’s” as to how either could win, but figured maybe he had a take on something no one has yet mentioned. Whoever wins will have an interesting set of challenges ahead of them, likely leaving them very vulnerable for future elections though the term limit switch will push that off awhile.

  17. Unknown Prosecutor says:

    HEROs defeat should be laid at the former City Attorney’s door — “my people” (religiously conservative) weren’t *that* up a tree until the subpoenas… Can the CoH sue for malpractice? 😉

  18. Manuel Barrera says:

    I personally only see one way for King to win, that would be the same coalition that Bob Lanier put together, Latino/Republican. There are not enough Republicans for King to win without getting another group to support him.

    Only 60/40 I saw was coming from candidates that were against HERO. I don’t recall Stein claiming that HERO would lose by that large amount. Granted he did state in some articles that it could be by a large margin. The first poll he came up did not have that result. It was only toward the end that he start stating those numbers. I could have predicted as much based on what Garcia was not doing and failed to do.

    From my experience with Bigham he is just as a big supporter of the TIRZ. I personally think they should be abolished. But they have become like cars, as one resident stated they have one we want one.

    One thing that maybe could hurt Turner is his ex-wife’s affidavit where she claims Turner was having sex with men and that was one of the reasons for the divorce (effect AA votes).

  19. Julian Deleon says:

    MB, You are very focused on gay/homosexual activities. We live in a world where a person can live thier true authentic life. It is OK.

    By the way, folks are getting behind Jolanda so she can get into the weeds of HISD contracts. We are not going to have folks narrowly escaping endictments are part of an FBI witness protection program…

  20. Paul Kubosh says:

    Jolanda Jones is the best.

  21. Steve Houston says:

    MB, Turner’s wife retracted the claim afterwards, claiming they were going through a rough divorce. I wouldn’t pin too much hope on King getting a large Latino vote to win but you know how many of them tend to vote, coming from a district carved out so one could win. That’s a shame to hear about Bigham too, because any true financial reform that doesn’t drastically cut services or employee compensation is going to need to have a TIRZ reform component. Ditching the crime lab and various frills will certainly help but it’s going to take more than that.

    Otherwise, on the local polls comment, you said: “Exit polling by several campaigns indicate that HERO will fail by about 60% to 40%“, hence my reply. Where said polls came from didn’t really matter as they were 1) local polls and 2) they showed a 60/40 split; I never said all local polls are BS, you did, nor did I claim ownership to said numbers, you did that too. I was taking your numbers at face value, not attacking you.

    But as far as King Vs. Turner, both have their own strengths in regards to stated plans. I just think that for the bulk of city residents or stakeholders, Turner would be a superior choice. If King is hell bent on using large amounts of bonded debt to fix all city problems, he will hasten the bankruptcy he has predicted for all these years now. The Pensions themselves are only underfunded about $75 million/year, the existing debt can be financed separately and without reinventing the wheel altogether, one of the District Chiefs with HFD suggesting a dedicated public safety tax or contribution from the TIRZ’s as the best vehicles to achieve it.

  22. Julian Deleon says:

    I am sure intel has been completed on both candidates. I have a strong feeling there is some stuff that will surface on King that will show him in a negative light. “Catch the Crooks” is interesting….

  23. Manuel Barrera says:

    Julian when the homosexual community started targeting Latino districts it got my attention. I play by the same rules. Jolanda Jones is a good person, in fact her and Diana get along real well. Was the union supporting her? How did they community support her when she was in city council? My my how times have changed. I know Ms. Jones and agree with you. Remember that the Chronicle the same whore of a paper was doing all kinds of stories on her.

    Of course behind the lets get Jones was our Lesbian mayor Annise Parker.

  24. Julian Deleon says:

    MB: You, Abel Davila, Herlinda Garcia and Art Aguilar lost for a reason. Manuel Rodriguez was forced into a run off; I believe Art Lopez is really worried right about now.

    Jolanda is going to do what is right. All eyes will be on Contracts. We can’t have folks narrowly escaping indictments or have to go into a FBI witness protection program.

  25. Jesus Gamboa says:

    Mr. Barrera, I don’t pretend to be more knowledgeable of the political process than anybody here, but the trivial difference in the votes between you and Bigham raised some questions about a “three-way runoff”.

    Quite frankly, I pity everyone who decides to run for office. That is an easy way to become a scapegoat.

  26. Jesus Gamboa says:

    And to answer your last question, Lane Lewis didn’t make it to the runoff for AL-1, and Robinson was also forced into a runoff.

  27. Manuel Barrera says:

    Robinson will lose, he was one of the HERO supporters.

    As one friend told me, if you work the polls you will do better, they were right. I saw no way for me to win the election and did not want to spend more time or money in that race, which was not a lot. My last mailer was designed to hurt Laster and I knew it would help Bigham more than me.

    Overall it was not just HERO that lost but the homosexual community. As I stated earlier the homosexual community started this when they started targeting the Latino community. One has to look no further than how they left Adrian Garcia out to hang. He was the only elected official (running for mayor) to help the homosexual community (separation by gender identity), to quote Kevin Hoffman “We need to get Sly in to bring the Black community to vote for HERO”. How did that work out? Sly bought the homosexual votes, but did not deliver the votes. In fact he stayed away from that issue.

    When you get the results you will find that the Latino community is much more tolerant of the homosexual community than the Black community, I don’t mean the elected officials who share their beds with anyone as long as there is money left there after the session.

    The problem is that most liberals and the liberal bloggers are like horses wearing blinders, they can’t see everything that is happening.

    But you all have a great day, I set out to accomplish certain goals for this election and while not 100% it was a very good ending.

    Without the Latino community the Harris County Democratic Party is doomed to failure in electing people county wide. Right now I see better opportunities with the Latino community supporting the Republican Party especially in the presidential election years, when the Democrats seem to sneak in some people. I am already thinking how to stop that from happening a year from now.

  28. Joel says:

    “Robinson will lose, he was one of the HERO supporters.” HERO won’t be on the ballot.

    Runoffs are all about turnout. Without HERO on the ballot, and a republican candidate for mayor that apparently many republicans aren’t too fond of, i would probably hold off on counting your chickens.

  29. Manuel Barrera says:

    Robinson will lose, his opponent is Black and will have Republican support, the same combination that got Andrew Burks elected 4 years ago. Burks lost the Republican support because of his voting record.

    I will be surprised if Robinson can overcome that.

    HERO did not have coat tails or very small ones if it did.

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