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Berry backs Sanchez

Former mayoral candidate Michael Berry has given his endorsement to Orlando Sanchez.

The endorsement is expected to solidify Sanchez’s standing among conservative voters who supported him in a 2001 runoff loss to Mayor Lee Brown but had shifted toward Berry in the 2003 campaign’s early months.

Berry made the endorsement during a meeting of the Harris County Republican Party, which has been spending money on advertising labeling candidate Bill White as a liberal.

“I welcome it, absolutely,” Sanchez said. “I thought Michael ran a good race on some issues that I also campaigned on, and he has good fiscal conservative values.”

I guess this is no surprise, as Kevin says, yet somehow I do feel surprised. This is part of it:

Earlier this year, Berry told the Houston Police Officers Union that he would not make an endorsement if he were not in the race.

And he had pounded Sanchez for using campaign operatives who once worked for Brown.

But he said he decided to endorse Sanchez after getting assurances that Sanchez would take up two causes the mayor opposes.

First, Berry said, Sanchez would have to oppose Metro’s Nov. 4 transit referendum that includes light rail. Sanchez struck that position last Wednesday, two days after Berry decided to run for another council seat.

Second, Berry said, Sanchez would have to support his proposal for a 1-cent cut in the city’s property tax rate of 64.5 cents per $100 valuation.

I know it happens all the time in primaries, but it always feels a bit awkward and dishonest to me when a candidate who’s pounded on someone else’s honesty and integrity endorses that person later on. I know, Candidate B may be scum, but he’s higher quality scum than the other guy. I’m just saying that the endorsement would carry more weight with me after a positive campaign and not a negative one.

Anyway, Berry gets reassured that his heart will go on, Sanchez finally remembers that he doesn’t like rail, and all is well with the universe.

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  1. kevin whited says:

    It was a surprise to me that Berry pulled out of the race when he did, but after that, there was no doubt he was going to be endorsing the other (R) in the race. I’m frankly a little shocked that the Stupid Party (that I call mine) could pull it off.

    You’re right, though — these things get so brutal, and then one day the candidates are best buddies. Kinda smells. Chris Bell worked that to perfection after vicious attacks on Mayor Pothole. I wonder if the GOP made any grandiose promises to Berry, or if promises on two issues are all he got out of the deal?

  2. Berry’s exit was also surprising to me. He was appearing in debates and forums up till he quit, and always had the feel of a true-believer-in-till-the-end guy. Maybe Rick Casey was right about the GOP promising him a Congressional district after all. 🙂