The Other Winners And Losers Of The 2009 Election
Garnet Coleman -- He was one of the few African-Americans that supported Annise Parker when she began her career. He stuck out his neck once again, even though African-Americans voted overwhelmingly for Gene Locke ... when the dust settled he was still standing around.
Peter Brown -- Even though he was not the winner the first time around, he was able to join the winning campaign at the end of the day. Brown may not be in charge but he can rest assured that he will have some influence, if he wishes, with the new administration.
Christian Archer -- Despite running a campaign that lost, he will be able to deflect criticism by spinning the responsibility of the loss to Gene Locke. He wins because he will not be held accountable for the outcome of the 2009 Houston Mayoral Election. Years from now you will not remember who the campaign manager to the losing campaign was, but you will remember that Gene Locke lost to Annise Parker.
Roy Morales -- Hate or love him, Roy Morales will be running for some office in Houston until he gets elected or departs us for greener pastures. The fact that Morales did not endorse a candidate works in his favor ... expect a sequel in 2011 as he attempts to persuade conservative voters that he is their man to beat Parker.
Jolonda "Jo" Jones -- The Lady of Pink won because Fort Bend County gave her enough votes to squeak by Jack Christie. Do not expect Jones to tame down anytime soon, even if city council seems stacked against her. Jones will not seek blood either, so expect much of the same cordial encounters until election year or something controversial occurs...whichever comes first.
Borris Miles -- He took the risk (although he is no stranger to danger) and supported Parker early on. Miles expects that to pay off as he challenges Texas House Representative Al Edwards of the 146th district in 2010.
Women -- Women will quickly remind you that 2008 was a great yet difficult year. Hillary Clinton put a crack on the glass ceiling and even though the crack is still there, women should rejoice that a female heads Houston, the fourth largest city in the United States. Kathy Whitmire was elected about 30 years ago as the first female mayor of Houston, so after 60 mayors...Houston has the distinction of having the second woman to lead it in 2010.
Chris Bell -- A lawyer by trade but a public servant at heart, do not be surprised if Bell leaves his day job to join the Parker administration.
Bloggers -- Bloggers changed the way local politics in the 713 are handled. There was one campaign that had a coalition of bloggers and then there was one that did not. Guess which one won? Bloggers are here to stay as long as there is something to report to Houstonians.
Social Media -- Facebook and Twitter revolutionized how campaigns communicated with their constituents in 2009. This should not come by surprise because President Barack Obama was the first to popularize the trend. These social networks were the forums in which friends, colleagues and supporters united to spread campaigns news and fundraising goals. I am sorry to tell you but Facebook and Twitter are here to stay ... at least until 2010!
Justin Concepcion -- The little engine that could and did. Concepcion began as an unpaid volunteer who transitioned to become the Social Media Director of the Parker campaign. He was responsible for getting Parker to tweet, use TwitVideo and build a blogger coalition. This smart young man will be joining the Parker administration in a similar role.
Adam Harris -- Harris is referred to as a paratrooper ... one who descends from the heavens to fight on the ground. Once the election is over he vanishes to join a new campaign regardless if he won or lost in the last bout. This time though, Harris may stick around a little longer. He is now a dad and will probably be asked to be Parker's Chief of Staff ... two good reasons for that good old paratrooper to finally settle down.
Republicans -- Who would have known that conservative voters would be the voting bloc most desired by two liberals? Regardless of how you feel, Republican voters had some say-so in this election ... even if it was not as much as they would have wanted. They came out strong and were able to get Brenda Stardig, Al Hoang, Stephen Costello and Oliver Pennington elected. Of the nine district seats, five belong to Republicans as a result of the 2009 election.
Rick and Mellissa Noriega -- One of the few prominent local Latino power couples to have supported Parker. The Noriegas were on the right side of history. Do I smell Mayor Pro Tem Noriega?
Metro Board Members -- The beast responsible for our traffic jams and lack of a large light rail system is probably not sleeping well these past few nights. Even though someone on the board decided to support Gene Locke and Parker claimed that she would clean house ... do not expect much drama. Parker will most likely assess the current board and institute measures to hold them accountable in the future. A coup d'état in not scheduled for the near future though ... so let them eat cake!
Outspoken Black Preachers -- Talk about picking the wrong candidate not once but twice! They did not energize their base to support Peter Brown. They failed to do the same for Gene Locke during the runoff. Their impact on local politics is slowly deteriorating and before they know it, they will no longer be considered key players in the new age of politics where blogs, social media, text messages and YouTube rule the way.
Stephen Hotze -- Hopefully, 2009 will be the last time you hear about Hotze. Even after running and subsequently losing in the `80s on the Straight Slate ... Hotze should realize that he has zero influence with conservative voters. He pushed Locke and lost. Some may be attracted to Hotze, but the majority of Houstonians will remember him as a bigot that can not deliver. Someone please tell Hotze that 1989 called and said come back!
Gays -- Shocked you are (in a Yoda voice) ... do not be. Let me explain. Some ... not all ... but some gays have vested so much in the Parker campaign because ... well, she is gay. These optimistic individuals will soon learn the words "pragmatist" and "realist" and go home crying. Parker shares much of the same scrutiny that President Barack Obama endures as the novelty candidate. We all know how disappointed some ... not all ... but some African-Americans have been with Obama. Parker will not legalize same-sex marriages in Houston anytime soon ... just like Obama will not be delivering on all the promises some people thought he made.
Bob Lanier -- Mayor Whitmire had the last laugh on Mayor Lanier, who put everything into Locke. This may be the end of the road for Lanier when it comes to local politics. Do not expect him to get invested any time soon with any campaign due to his age. 2009 may well be considered Lanier's last stand, where he sent a novice to fight off a veteran and lost.
Chief Harold Hurtt -- Other than Locke, Chief Hurtt can be considered the first casualty of a Parker Administration. Parker did not even get to enjoy a whole week after winning last Saturday before Hurtt called it quits. It did not help that Parker was not satisfied with his performance. He did not help himself either by donating to the Locke campaign.
Sue Lovell -- Lovell may have won her last term but this is not the way she would have wanted to remember it. She received a lot of flack from fellow Democrats who were disappointed she went after Jolanda Jones. Lovell's senior year at city council will come with more drama than TNT ... at least that is what is hoped by those that watch the HTV channel for fun.
Latino Politicians -- 2009 was not a good year for Latino politicians. They failed to get out the vote. Then they failed to get what little vote that they did get out for their candidate, in this case Gene Locke. Somewhere in Houston, the Latino Politicians are whispering amongst each other trying to figure out how much clout they really have in their changing communities.
Anthony Hall -- At the tender age of 65, Hall may be retiring after putting all his eggs in Locke's basket. A staple to city politics since 1979, Hall may be counting his last days. He served as City Attorney from 1998 to 2004. He has been the Chief Administrative Officer for the city for the last 5 years. Expect him to join the private sector. Then again, his alma mater is looking for a Dean to head the Thurgood Marshall School of Law.
Two-Twitter Accounts -- Someone please call the Bill White campaign and tell them that two twitter accounts do not work. Locke's social media strategy began to go downhill the day he created two different Twitter accounts and inadvertently diluted his online presence. At first, it may have seemed like a good idea but it quickly became pointless when people became confused and were not sure whom to follow.
Mobile Campaigns -- The two campaigns that ended up implementing a mobile campaign ... lost. This is not because mobile campaigns are useless. No, this is because Brown and Locke did not know how to manage their mobile campaigns. They could have caused some major damage if only they had executed a coherent mobile campaign strategy. Will Houstonians remember that? No, they will just remember that mobile campaigns do not work.
Gene Locke -- Locke is not on the loser list because he was not victorious ... he is on the list because Houstonians will never know the true Gene Locke. Gene Locke suffered character assassination at the hands of his handlers who botched his image. Gene Locke is a nice man with good intentions who unfortunately did not listen to his gut and instead went to the dark side because his campaign managers told him to. Locke has been tainted and as a result he will probably never seek public office again.