Post-Election Analysis

Here is an analysis of the race and a recap to see if my predictions were correct.  Note: numbers are taken from www.HarrisVotes.org.

Mayor:

 

Votes

Vote %

Annise Parker

59,920

50.86

Jack O’Connor

17,265

14.8

Fernando Herrera

16,799

14.36

Dave Wilson

13,858

11.73

Kevin Simms

8,197

6.67

Alanda Ulman

1,882

1.57

As I predicted, Mayor Parker won without a runoff.  Perhaps if there was one clear frontrunner with Parker, things would have been different.  Without one, the other candidates blended.  This reminds me of the political term called the Bandwagon Effect.  People want to be on the winning side.  They will often vote for the person they perceive to be the likely winner if they don’t know who the other candidates are.  With the blending together of the other candidates, many likely perceived Parker as the winner and wanted to jump on that bandwagon. 

Also, if there was a clear frontrunner, he or she would have garnered more attention, causing people to believe more and more that others were going to vote for this person.  This is also known as an Information Cascade (Candidate X is getting a lot of attention.  I guess people like this candidate.  I was going to vote for the incumbent, but if everyone likes Candidate X, I must be wrong.  Therefore I will vote for Candidate X).  

I’ve heard from some pundits today that the fact that Parker’s win was so close likely leaves her vulnerable for a tough election next time around.  I think it is way too early to know that for sure.  If she does a great job the next two years, people will forget all about Renew Houston and the red light cameras. 

District A:

 

Votes

Vote %

Helena Brown

3,727

47.17

Brenda Stardig

3,248

41.11

Bob Schoellkopf

926

11.72

Although I wrongly predicted that Stardig would win, I am not surprised by the results.  Well, I am only surprised that Schoellkopf received as many votes as he did.  I thought that he would get no more than 3%.  Having run in this district in 2009, I’ve heard the complaints about Stardig.  I received many e-mails today asking why I didn’t run this year.  To quickly clear it up – I have even been asked by many to run against her over the last two years; however, with so much going on for me this year, it just wouldn’t have been fair to my prospective constituents since I wouldn’t have been able to give them my undivided attention.  I will run again when the time is right. 

I think what happened in this race is a lack of marketing on Stardig’s side.  She isn’t quoted in the paper often, not many can name any ordinances that she’s created, and the only time we hear about how she voted is when we don’t like it.  With a lack of knowledge of what she is doing and the lack of name recognition that usually comes with an incumbent, it was almost as if there were two newcomers running rather than an incumbent and a newcomer. 

Also, I think voter turnout had a lot to do with it.  In many cases it is easier for a candidate to lose someone’s vote than to keep it.  Voters can be fastidious (You voted “yes” on this one issue – I don’t remember what it was, but it made me mad, so I will never vote for you again).  Incumbents tend to win because those who don’t pay attention (which happens often on a city level) just vote for the name they have heard.  So few people voted in District A this time that those who went to the polls were more likely than not those who pay attention.  When it is easier to lose a vote than gain a new one, Stardig lost some of her former support.  I think it is too soon to know who will win the runoff.  It is still anyone’s to win. 

District B:

 

Votes

Vote %

Alvin Byrd

2,264

25.11

Jerry Davis

2,198

24.38

Kathy Blueford-Daniels

1,625

18.02

Kenneth Perkins

937

10.39

Charles Ingram

679

7.53

Phillip “Paul Bryant

537

5.96

James Joseph

434

4.81

Bryan Smart

343

3.8

As other pundits, I couldn’t predict who would make it to the runoff.  Byrd and Davis will probably have a close race.  I think Byrd might pull ahead, but it is too soon and too close to call at this point. 

District C:

 

Votes

Vote %

Ellen Cohen

11,306

53.57

Brian Cweren

5,735

27.17

Karen Derr

2,711

12.84

Randy Locke

837

3.97

Josh Verde

518

2.45

As I predicted, Cohen won. 

District D:

 

Votes

Vote %

Wanda Adams

10,554

81.72

Larry McKinzie

2,361

18.28

As I predicted, Adams won. 

District E:
Mike Sullivan was unopposed.  

District F:

 

Votes

Vote %

Al Hoang

2,656

55.96

Peter “Lyn” Rene

1,238

26.02

Hoc Thai Nguyen

853

18.02

As I predicted, Hoang won. 

District G:

 

Votes

Vote %

Oliver Pennington

11,905

76.83

Clyde Bryan

3,591

23.17

As I predicted, Pennington won. 

District H:

 

Votes

Vote %

Ed Gonzalez

4,340

68.22

Patricia Rodriguez

2,022

31.78

As I predicted, Gonzalez won.

 District I:

 

Votes

Vote %

James Rodriguez

4,045

64.47

Leticia Gutierrez Albaza

2,229

35.53

As I predicted, Rodriguez won. 

District J:

 

Votes

Vote %

Mike Laster

2,793

67.27

Criselda Romero

901

21.03

Rodrigo Canedo

458

11.03

Although this was supposed to be a Hispanic district, the only non-Hispanic won.  I rightly predicted that Laster would win.

 District K:

 

Votes

Vote %

Larry Green

6,308

65.08

Pat Frazier

2,500

25.79

Alex Gonik

884

9.12

As I predicted, Green won. 

At-Large 1:

 

Votes

Vote %

Stephen Costello

48,940

51.16

Scott Boates

21,525

22.69

Don Cook

17,296

17.99

James Partsch-Galvan

7,759

8.17

Although this one was difficult to predict, Costello ended up winning as I guessed he would. 

At-Large 2:

 

Votes

Vote %

Andrew Burks, Jr.

17,512

17

Kristi Thibaut

15,808

15.87

Elizabeth Perez

14,367

14.37

David Robinson

12,115

11.75

Bolivar “Bo” Fraga

9,567

9.6

M. “Griff” Griffin

8,301

8.27

Eric Dick

7,410

7.42

Jenifer Rene Pool

7,133

7.13

Roslyn “Rozzy” Shorter

6,970

6.7

Gordon Goss

1,895

1.88

I thought Thibaut would make it to the runoff, but I wasn’t sure who would make it with her.  I think she will beat Burks, but we will see closer to the election if that still holds true. 

At-Large 3:

 

Votes

Vote %

Melissa Noriega

54,246

55.58

Chris Carmona

25,581

26.44

J.Brad Batteau

17,807

17.98

As I predicted, Noriega won. 

At-Large 4:

 

Votes

Vote %

C.O. “Brad” Bradford

67,306

67.87

Amy Price

20,771

21.21

Louis Molnar

10,626

10.9

As I predicted, Bradford won. 

At-Large 5:

 

Votes

Vote %

Jolanda Jones

42,386

38.32

Jack Christie

35,600

33.38

Laurie Robinson

21,402

19.84

Bob Ryan

9,057

8.46

I thought Christie would have a slight edge over Jones this time, but I was wrong – wishful thinking maybe?  It could really go either way in the runoff.  District B’s runoff will draw democrats and African-Americans who will likely vote for Jones.  District A will bring republicans and moderates who will likely vote for Christie.  The big question left is which candidate Robinson voters will turn to.  Robinson is a democrat.  Will her voters turn to Jones because she is a democrat too, or will they vote for Christie because they don’t like Jones?  Either way it will probably be a close race.

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