Analysis of Mayoral Race

Annise Parker
Fernando Herrera
Jack O’Connor
Kevin Simms
Amanda Ulman
David Wilson 

Mayor Parker has had a rough first term in office, some of which was her fault, some of which she inherited from Mayor White.  Red light cameras, pay cuts, drainage fee, drought, a deficit, etc.  With so many big issues surrounding her first term, you probably either love her or hate her.  Some of the dissention even comes from her own party who are not fans of red light cameras or who thought that she went too far with the budget cuts.  On the other hand, many people appreciate her leadership.  The question remains whether enough people want to vote for another candidate.  I think the answer is no.  Despite the controversies, I think if the election was held today, she would win again. 

Parker opponents really have two candidates to choose from: Fernando Herrera and Jack O’Connor.  Simms, Ulman, and Wilson probably won’t fair as well.  One side note about Wilson: he filed for office using an address that disqualified him in 2010 when he tried to run for county commissioner.  He listed his business address, which is not in the city of Houston, while his wife has a separate residence.  Mrs. Wilson is listed as the sole owner of the house, and she has a homestead exemption on it.  We will see if anyone challenges this. 

Herrera and O’Connor are both republicans and have both run for state house representative and have both lost.  I think both will get their fair share of votes, but if you are a republican or maybe even a democrat or moderate who is not pleased with Parker, which one do you vote for?  I don’t think either candidate has established themselves as a frontrunner.  With that being said, I like both candidates, and both would be effective leaders… but if you only barely pay attention to the candidates before you vote (which is the case for many), I’m not sure you have a clear person between the two to vote for, and that is the complaint I’ve heard from many.  With only about 16 days until early voting, someone is going to have to make a move for the top spot quickly. 

So I think, unless something huge changes before the election, it seems like Parker will win again.  We will see closer to the election if she is predicted to will win outright or if there will be a runoff.

Anyone disagree?  Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.


34 Responses to Analysis of Mayoral Race

  1. Alvin Walker says:

    The only thing I can disagree with is giving Jack equal status with Fernando Herrera. Fernando has been campaigning for the Mayor’s office most of the year, Jack waited until the last day to file. Before filing Jack was running for COH at large 5. How was that fact overlooked? I have been to more than one event were both attended. If the volume of applause shows who the people want, there is no doubt Fernando wins by a landslide.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Fernando would make a great mayor

  3. walter says:

    Fernado would make a great mayor

  4. JoAnn McCracken says:

    Fernando has it going for him. Great background and a good business sense. He will make us a responsible and honorable mayor. GO FERNANDO GO!!!!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    I am a supporter of Fernando Herrera and believe he’ll be the next Mayor of Houston. Oddly enough, the Mayoral race is very quiet. There has been no television exposure or information given to the citizens of this great city concerning the candidates. — Normally, there is a debate with all mayoral candidates before the election! What happened! Why isn’t the television stations concerned about educating Houstonians about the choices they have, as it relates to selecting a new mayor. Your article mention issues Parker encountered in her first term. Shouldn’t the citizens hear how Parker’s opponents will address those issues? Go Fernando!

  6. Chandra Dean says:

    I am a supporter of Fernando Herrera and believe he’ll be the next Mayor of Houston. Oddly enough, the Mayoral race is very quiet. There has been no television exposure or information given to the citizens of this great city concerning the candidates. — Normally, there is a debate with all mayoral candidates before the election! What happened! Why isn’t the television stations concerned about educating Houstonians about the choices they have, as it relates to selecting a new mayor. Your article mention issues Parker encountered in her first term. Shouldn’t the citizens hear how Parker’s opponents will address those issues? Go Fernando!

  7. L R says:

    I believe Fernando understands what the citizens of Houston are wanting in a mayor. Something that the current mayor lacks. LEADERSHIP…………Not here to bash or name call, just voicing a view point. If Fernando does win, he WILL have his hands full. Your article says that Parker inherited what White left. White had nothing to do with the red light debockle and so on. Doesn’t EVERY new comer encounter these types of situations that arise as time? And is it not how the newly elected person and in this case mayor handles the situation? The most important part of any office is its’ people that he or she serves. Fernando will understand the will of the people that his opponent doesn’t. It is quite clear that the citizens are ready for a new. I tip my hat off to Fernando for his heartfelt campaign. Move over Parker………history in the making.

  8. David Valvano says:

    I agree with your analysis on 2 points:
    1. Mayor Parker has had a rough first term, most of it deservedly so.
    2. You like Fernando Herrera and think he would be an effective leader.
    I disagree with your analysis on one major point: that you think Parker will win again. You don’t understand the strength of this wonderful underdog candidate, Fernando Herrera. He has a large amount of support in Houston communities across the board, whether it be the Latino, African-American or Anglo community. In other words, strong grassroots support among many citizens of Houston who are dissatisfied with the lack of leadership by Mayor Parker. Be prepared to be wrong! Deputy Fire Chief Fernando Herrera will be the next Mayor of Houston!

  9. dafarmun says:

    Fernando Herrera is the best thing going in this race; I regard his “ABC” approach to the Budget Woes as “RIGHT ON TARGET”. It is simple, straight forward and to the point. I think there is an upset on the horizon! HERRERA FOR HOUSTON; the best choice on the ballot bar none!!!

  10. peckblog says:

    Great comments. One thing I want to point out is that I like Herrera too. He seems like a really genuine, upstanding person and would make a great mayor. My analysis is just what I THINK will happen, not necessarily what I WANT to happen.

  11. Dan Comstock says:

    Fernando Herrera has served this city well as Fireman and Deputy Chief of HFD. He understands the difference between spending on those things for which the City of Houston is rightfully responsible and discretionary spending for select agendas. It is that discretionary spending for select agendas that compels the present administration to look for aggressive ways to raise funds (e.g., defending the red light cameras in the face of public opposition). Fernando will look for ways to ease the tax burden, concentrate on those services for which the city is rightfully and truly responsible, prune some things which are not truly the responsibility of the City of Houston, and in general be responsive to the will of the citizens of Houston as a whole. Fernando Herrera, though a clear underdog in the beginning and enjoying little media coverage, committed to this race very early on and has garnered a wide range of support. It is time for a change and Fernando Herrera would be a most welcome change. Those who agree need to help him gain the momentum needed to get him elected.

  12. Erich says:

    Re: “I don’t think either candidate has established themselves as a frontrunner” … Quite the contrary, I believe that Fernando Herrera has *clearly* established himself as the man to beat! lists the endorsements of at least half a dozen groups/organizations, four Republican Senate District chairs, four State Republican Executive Committee members, a dozen or so community leaders, and literally scores of precinct chairs and other supporters.

    All cross-sections of Houston’s diverse makeup are represented, and his supporters cross party lines. Fernando has been working hard — since May — garnering the support that’s needed to win this race. This was not a last-minute decision on his part. Clearly he’s in it to win it!

  13. Paul says:

    I beg to differ with the comments above. Jack O’Connor has a background as a successful businessman, with good ideas to move the city forward and to improve the Houston economy. I think he will be a mayor for all Houstonians, His decision to run in this race was a thoughtful one, based on the performance of the incumbent and the other candidates. He has worked tirelessly in this campaign to get his message out and will work tirelessly for the city. People who vote in the upcoming election should take the time to examine all of the candidates, given the lack of coverage of the race. If they do that, I am sure many will vote for O’Connor.

    You are right about the lack of coverage of the race. This may go down in history as the first stealth race in American history

  14. Mary Jane says:

    Jack O’Connor has my support. He surrounds himself with good people, has an open mind, and will listen to his constituents. Go Jack

  15. JoAnn McCracken says:

    Gee, wonder why it took him so long to decide to run for mayor? Could it be because Jack Christie was going to give him some competition in CC #5 race? Heard he was whining all over the place when Jack got in. He filed at 5:00 pm on the last day for mayor….I think he is nothing but a spoiler in this race. He is trying to assure that the current mayor gets back in. Is he one of your clients? That might color your opinion.

  16. Paul says:

    Anyone who thinks Jack is a spoiler for the incumbent definitely does not know Jack. That is the last thing he wants to see happen

  17. Anonymous says:

    Jack is a narcissist.

  18. Jill says:

    It appears to me that Jack’s campaign is focused on beating Annise, and Fernando’s campaign supporters are focused on tearing down a fellow Republican and whining when Jack got into the mayor’s race. Conservatives must stick together against the opposition we all should really be thanking Jack for aiding to force a runoff that Fernando might not have made without Jack. . . when you attack fellow Republicans this is how liberals win. I have seen Jack and Fernando at a few events together and both come across as gentlemen; Jack with his strengths and business acumen from his years as a manufacturing business man and Fernando having in government insider approach to have seen the waste accumulate from his years of working in the fire department. Let’s all come together and force the major TV stations to host a Mayoral Debate so all Houstonians can make an informed choice on these two wonderful candidates!

    • Alvin Walker says:

      While Jack is my number two choice, I must ask the following questions. Can you tell us who is “West center benefits, Inc.” and why would Jack show a $1500.00 donation from a corporation? Are they not a corporation? Was this a mistake? The T.E.C. says a candidate cannot accept money from a corporation ( 1-512-463-5800).

      Also maybe you can tell us why Jacks report doesn’t have any totals on it and is signed by his treasurer? I came up with $7,916.00 in contributions, $3,650.00 came from out of state and $1,000.00 came from Canada, mostly Jacks family. When you add West Center Benefits Inc. it leaves less than 2K from Houston area people. Yet Jack spent by my figuring, $11,192.28. That’s over 3K more than what came in.

      Here is what Jack wrote on 9-7-2011 “Aside from making this campaign unnecessarily expensive, the number of candidates in this race may benefit the incumbent who very much needs to be replaced.” He was talking about position 5. It seems history is repeating itself. The incumbent will benefit.

      If Jack can’t stand the heat he might want to get of this kitchen
      also……… Just me whining. 😉

  19. JoAnn McCracken says:

    Gee, I have followed Jack thru his race with Dianne Williams and Hubert Vo, and I must have missed those wonderful qualities that you talk about. I have not seen him exhibit all that fine business experience you talk about. Fernando has been working in this race since May, and, no. I am not interested in tearing down Jack. Think the facts should be known by all. Just really disappointed that he showed such poor judgment in jumping in this race at 5:00 pm on the last day of filing. Jill, are you one of his consultants, also? He has lots of money to throw around. We all know that. But what has he done? Fernando has been managing million dollar budgets for the fire department for quite some time. Haven’t seen nor heard of any of Jack’s experience like that. Fernando also had a small business for many years. Well, the mayor is certainly able to force the TV stations to follow her around. Good luck with that one. I don’t think banding together will do anything for conservative candidates.

  20. Apparently I am starting to get some press. The Chronicle only reports on what ( Republican) candidates do wrong. Yes I live in the city, I have been a General Manager in a Company that had gross sales well exceeding the City of Houston’s budget, and I have operated small businesses in my career. And yes I have not violated any city laws with my sign placement but I am thinking about it.

    It is apparant that there are some strong feelings about me entering the Mayor’s race. i have been uninvited by a precinct chair to his events and fielded some nasty comments. Some of my family have been given some rough treatment for it as well. Some may just want something to be mad about but let me suggest to you that the acrimony is wasted.

    I am a resident of Houston and an American and I am running for Mayor in an American City. I have not taken money from any PAC’s or Unions and have financed this campaign largely with my own funds. I do not have money to throw around. Certainly my family is a source of support of which I am proud, but I do not carry any baggage with me to the office of Mayor. I have stuck to the issues that are important to the city’s future many which were not being addressed by any campaign. Oh yes I can stand the heat …Alvin …and thrive on it when the cause is a good one.

    • Paul says:

      Even on the national level we get lots of coverage of the horse race aspects, who’s ahead in what poll, etc, but much less coverage of candidates’ positions on issues, how they have voted in the past. Those of us who like to think about who we are going to vote for think those questions are more important than when some one filed. Like, why should that matter? You have to file sometime, and what difference if you file i=on the first day or the last day? There always has to be a last day to file. The day a candidate files should be immaterial. What should matter is, what does this candidate think about issues that matter, like, crime, the economy, government spending, where should government put its priorities, what are the roles for government to play? Local media to date in this race have failed to inform the public on the substance of the race.

  21. Erich says:

    Except for the sanctuary city issue (Parker did nothing to rescind General Order 500-5, which forbids officers from making inquiries “as to the citizenship status of any person”), it’s probably safe to say that none of the mayoral candidates are in favor of more crime. Similarly, I can’t imagine any of the mayoral candidates going on record as saying they want to perpetuate the current state of the economy. Only when it comes to government spending/priorities/roles, do we start to see some differentiation.

    Spending? Parker laid off close to 800 city employees yet found $800K to spend on artwork; Herrera’s highest spending priorities will be for essential city services (i.e. police, fire, EMS, and infrastructure) — not artwork. On an “ABC” scale (Absolute, Beneficial, Convenient) artwork doesn’t even rate a ‘B’ much less an ‘A’.

    Red light cameras? Parker was for them, before she was against them, before she was for them, before she was against them. Herrera has been reminding folks — since May — that the cameras were never about safety and that there are better ways than red light cameras to improve safety at dangerous intersections.

    Drainage fee? I think almost every candidate except Parker supports the repeal of the drainage fee imposed by Proposition 1 and enacted by city council. Certainly Herrera, Simms, and Wilson do.

    The role of government? Parker is for expanding it (namely, forced historical preservation, allowing city government to give preferential treatment to one developer (e.g. Walmart) over others, “community sustainability” (whatever that means), using drainage fee money to build hike/bike trails, etc)! Herrera is for responsible government, and doing what’s right for the citizens of Houston (not political favors, paybacks, or getting reelected).

    So, what are the “issues that are important to the city’s future” that O’Connor doesn’t think were “being addressed by any campaign”? I checked to see what they might be. Bringing back Houston’s lost jobs? Stopping reckless City Hall spending? Making neighborhoods safe? They can’t be any of these, as all are addressed by at least one other campaign.

    I agree that local media to date in this race have failed to inform the public on the substance of the race. If it had, we likely wouldn’t have multiple candidates on the same side of most (if not all) of the issues facing the city today.

    • On the record I said I would rescind the the Santuary City Status as soon as legally possible. Also I have been on the record about impounding uninsured motor vehicles as the City of Dallas does.

      We need more coverage at the Forum’s and my website has a blog where I am addressing the issues affecting Houston. The Red Light Camera issue is example of enept leadership and management. Some gained fame and notoriety on the issue but it was never defined well by either side.

      My plan for jobs is very different than those offered by others as my experience gives me strong insight into how jobs are lost and where they went……and how to get them back in a free market environment.

      I am outsider who knows what is right and wrong with how the city operates and how its actions affect businesses and private citizens.

      Amy…. normally candidates are advised not to respond to forums like this. There is so much above, however, that just isn’t so.

      Jack …….Again

      • JoAnn McCracken says:

        Funny, but Fernando has been laying out his platform for bringing Houston back to the city we once knew since May. Others were no where around to even discuss the situation.

  22. trevor kemp says:

    If your argument against Jack O’Conner is about his timing of getting in the race….get real. I see good qualifications and I see 3 good alternatives to Annise Parker; Herrera, O’Conner and Wilson. Direct your ire at our incompetent, worthless Mayor, the media not covering her worthlessness, not at the timing of one of the better alternatives.

    • Alvin Walker says:

      Not about when he filed. It’s about the fact that he said he was running for At Large 5 and then at the last minute switched to running for Mayor. It’s about all the times that we Herrera volunteers were at events and talked to Jack or his people, thinking they were friendlies, when in fact they were not. Kind of leaves you with a feeling of betrayal. Now he’s as Jill would say “whining” about getting ugly emails and comments. What did he think would happen? Did he think we would all say “thank you Jesus” we finally have a old white rich Republican in the race? It’s America and he is free to do as he pleases, as are the voters. November 8 go vote.

    • Erol says:

      I’ve been browsing oinlne more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all web owners and bloggers made good content as you did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

  23. Come on Alvin……………. “old white rich republican” I am not rich and maybe younger than you and why do you bring up white? The conversation is descending deeper into a dark hole. Does Fernando know you are talking like this? I don’t think so!

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