According the Houston Chronicle, the December 12th Runoff Election for Mayor between longtime Democratic State Representative Sylvester Turner and conservative Bill King is coming down to the wire. So, it is probably not a stretch to assume the same assessment on the race for the number 2 job of Controller between the progressive candidate Chris Brown and conservative Bill Frazer.
The Controller is essentially the independent financial watchdog for the city, but it has also been a stepping stone to the mayor’s office. Houston Blogger Charles Kuffner describes the stakes and motivations behind the “nonpartisan” contests:
The race carries symbolic weight, both parties say, presenting Democrats with an opportunity to maintain their longtime hold on the mayoralty and Republicans the long-awaited chance to make inroads in municipal politics.
Kuffner also reported that there was an increase of 39,000 votes over the last time the mayor’s seat was open and that, “several political scientists project overall participation will be 200,000 or more.”
There was a 23% drop off in the votes for Controller which reinforces its reputation as an important job with little visibility, but a partisan push from both sides has risen its profile in the final days of the election.
Brown won over the endorsements of the Texas Democratic Party and Congressman Joaquin Castro, while Frazer picked up various Tea Party and grassroots conservative groups.
The Houston Chronicle gave their endorsement to both candidates, but only Brown boasts the endorsement of the last 5 Controllers including Democrat State Senator Sylvia Garcia and outgoing Mayor Annise Parker. And while both candidates agree that pensions are a major issue in this campaign, Brown won the endorsement of the Police Union.
It is critical not to give conservatives municipal allies in our biggest city while the state legislature continues its barrage against local control and a citizen’s right to govern themselves where their votes have the most impact.
The bottom line is, your vote is important, and these are two Bills that Houston can’t afford. Find your polling location and make sure your friends and family make it to the polls this Saturday!