Early Analysis of At-Large 3 Race

Melissa Noriega
Chris Carmona
J. Brad Batteau

Melissa Noriega:
As an incumbent, Council Member Noriega already has an advantage in name recognition.  Not only that, she has the endorsements of Christians for Better Government, Democracy for Houston, Greater Houston Builders Association, Harris County AFL-CIO, Houston Area Stonewall Democrats, Houston GLBT Political Caucus PAC, Houston Organization of Public Employees-Local 123, Houston Police Officers’ Union, Houston Professional Fire Fighter’s Association-Local 341, Oak Forest Area Democrats, Planned Parenthood of Houston & Southeast Texas Action Fund, and SEIU-Local 1 (according to her website). 

I think she will be difficult to beat.  She is a fairly well-liked council member maybe not among those who regularly follow city government but most likely among those who pay attention to the bigger issues.  You don’t see her name in the paper often for saying outlandish speeches at meeting, and she typically votes the way her voters would expect her to; however she only has $35,774 (with $11,000 in loans) as of the last reporting period.  Although this is very low for someone running at-large, I think she will be able to overcome this and will most likely prevail.

Chris Carmona:
Carmona is the conservative running against Noriega.  He will likely do well in the election among the conservative base, but he has a long way to go to acquire the name recognition already achieved by Noriega.  As of the last reporting period, he has $0 and $2,750 in loans.  It doesn’t look good.

J. Brad Batteau:
Batteau previously ran for District I in 2007, where he only received 6.82% of the votes.  When he ran for At-Large 1 in 2009, he received 6.05%, coming in next to last out of 8 people.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Batteau has a criminal record that includes a felony conviction for robbery when he was 17.  He received probation and 30 days in jail.  He was re-arrested and pleaded guilty to misdemeanors ranging from theft to criminal mischief.  Batteau said, “‘I’ve got nothing to hide. It don’t make me a lesser man at all,” he said. “All I can tell you is I’m that man with the master plan. … I’m the man for this city.’”

Check out his questionnaire from the Texas Conservative Review in 2009.  Although the questions are geared for a conservative group, I can’t think of many people, liberal or conservative, who would have answered some of the questions the way he did. 

No website, no Facebook page… I don’t see him doing well in this race.  Other than the questionnaire, I have no idea where he stands on any issue or anything about his background (other than the criminal record).

If the vote was held today, I think Noriega would win.  Carmona has a long road ahead of him and a lot of money to raise to compete.




One Response to Early Analysis of At-Large 3 Race

  1. Last Saturday in Houston ecteeld a new mayor Annise Parker.  It’s a big deal for several reasons.  First she is the first lesbian to be ecteeld Mayor of a major US city.  Kuff has a wrap of how many from around the country and state are viewing her election.

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