On Tuesday night, Houston Public Media and the League of Women Voters hosted the only televised Mayoral debate of the campaign season.
They invited all of the candidates to participate and 8 of them agreed to join in the conversation. Debates with 8 candidates can be a bit tedious but some of them offered comic relief to the otherwise serious candidates.
Of course, the primary focus was on Mayor Parker and her main challenger, Ben Hall. The format of the debate and the number of participants kept the conflict a bit lower than might otherwise have been the case. They managed to exchange some barbs but the impact was nominal. They both repeated information that has otherwise played out in the press.
To a person, the candidates laid blame for Houston’s atrocious street conditions at the feet of the Mayor. Each and every one took some of their time to comment on the need for street repair. The Mayor remained poised, confident and did not become defensive in light of the criticism. She explained the process for improvement as if she was teaching a class.
Kudos to the moderator and to the panelists. The panelists did a great job with their questions. They included Laurie Johnson from KUHF, Doug Miller from KHOU – Channel 11, Pedro Rojas with Univision and Mike Morris with the Houston Chronicle.