Much thought has gone into this blog series this week. We are still a full year from the Houston Mayoral race and four months away from the opening of the fundraising window for Mayoral candidates. However, as I have previously stated this week, Houston political circles are all abuzz about potential candidates.
Today, we’ll lay out the “maybes” which at this point is a large number of civically engaged individuals. We’re certain we have missed some people considering a bid. If that is the case, send us a note and we’ll include you or your favorite in the future.
Now, let’s get started. Other potential Mayoral contenders include:
Sheriff Adrian Garcia is widely rumored to be considering a run for Mayor. Many of the insiders believe that he would be a serious contender and a likely front-runner with Sylvester Turner. The challenge for the Sheriff is that county office holders are prohibited from seeking other office. He has to resign at the point he decides to make an official announcement. This alone raises serious questions about his candidacy. If he resigns, he leaves the Republican County Commissioners Court to appoint his replacement and that concerns many Democrats. In fact, the Sheriff represents more people now than he would as Mayor and is touted both statewide and even nationally as a prominent Latino elected official.
Orlando Sanchez, the Harris County Treasurer and a former Houston City Council Member, finds himself in the same position. He is currently on the ballot and says “winning re-election” is his top priority. Sanchez has sought the office of Mayor twice before. While he is a Republican, he has deep Latino roots and has always done well with Latino voters.
For both of these folks, it is wait and see until the fundraising window opens. We can’t expect an announcement from either of them until after the first of the year. By then, the dynamics may change but we are keeping them both on the list.
Other Houston City Council Members have their eye on the race. Council Member Brad Bradford is term-limited so there is nothing for him to loose by assessing a candidacy. Many think he is looking at another opportunity but we definitely have him on our list.
Council Members Jack Christie and Michael Kubosh are both considering the race. They both can stand for re-election to their current positions. They will have to make a call sooner rather than later. If folks think they are running for Mayor and they change their mind, they may face stronger opponents in their re-election efforts.
Folks, that brings the total of current City Council Members either announced or considering a run for Mayor to 5. It will make for fun Council politics until it all shakes out.
Ben Hall ran against Parker last election and is said to be considering another bite at the apple. We hope he hires different political professionals as he had one of the worst campaigns ever in 2013. He can finance the race though and would still be a contender if he decides to run.
Bill King is a former Mayor of Kemah, a high-profile civic leader and a columnist for the daily newspaper’s editorial page. He has stepped to the plate in the past and then decided not to make the run. We keep his name on the list because many people mention him frequently.
Gilbert Garcia is the current Chair of the Metro Board and his name is bandied about quite a bit. He is said to be analyzing the race and assessing a potential candidacy. He would bring a different perspective to the campaign.
Former Houston City Council Member Sue Lovell‘s name is frequently mentioned. She has been long-involved in politics and has a strong base of supporters. She has told some she won’t run but her name keeps coming up in conversations.
If we go back to Monday’s post and reconsider the Sims theory on Mayoral elections, most of these names do not fit the model. Who are the business leaders considering the race?
The daily paper has mentioned Marty McVey. He is a strong civic leader, well-liked and has financial management experience.
Ric Campo is a powerhouse in the city. He currently chairs Central Houston Inc., Houston First and the Super Bowl Committee. Professionally, he is the CEO of Camden Properties, a major real estate developer. How can you not include this guy on a list of potential candidates?
Paul Hobby is currently Chair of the Greater Houston Partnership. He has told folks that he doesn’t plan to run but his name continues to bubble up among the gossips. He is doing a great job as Chair of this leading business organization. His term expires in January and many are hopeful he will then consider a bid for Mayor.
Less mentioned but certainly a potentially worthy candidate is Nancy Kinder. Nancy and Rich Kinder are among the city’s most generous philanthropic leaders. They have consistently shown an interest in the future of the city and in policy initiatives. Nancy Kinder has been a driving force with the development and ongoing strength of Discovery Green, Houston parks and Buffalo Bayou preservation initiatives. They have made a solid commitment to improving the city’s quality of life. Additionally, they support the Kinder Institute at Rice University. Nancy Kinder would be a formidable candidate for Mayor of Houston.
Obviously, all of these people will not make the run for Mayor. A few will emerge over the next few months and we’ll be sharing our thoughts as the assess their options. Buckle-up for what will be a truly exciting 2015 election cycle.