Brown in Front

Ten reasons why former police chief Lee Brown is well positioned to be elected Houston’s first black mayor on December 6: (1) He ran stronger than expected in the November 4 primary, with 42 percent to Rob Mosbacher’s 29 percent. Both were projected to poll in the 30’s. (2) The leader going into a Houston mayoral runoff typically wins. (3) Brown has countered Mosbacher’s personal wealth by raising large sums from black businessmen. (4) Although he is a prominent Republican, Mosbacher is regarded as too moderate by the GOP right. (5) No big issues separate the candidates; both want to continue economic growth, both waffle on rail transit. (6) Their attacks on each other haven’t stirred voter passions: Brown wants Mosbacher to release his tax returns; Mosbacher calls Brown a career bureaucrat. (7) One hope for Mosbacher is that blacks won’t turn out for the runoff. Fat chance. (8) If Mosbacher plays the race card, it could cause the pro-Mosbacher Houston Chronicle , which has warned both candidates against mudslinging, to pull its endorsement. (9) Most of the votes for the losers on November 4 were for left-of-center candidates; Brown figures to get at least half. (10) Outgoing mayor Bob Lanier favors Brown, and Lanier, as he showed by leading the fight against an anti–affirmative action referendum, is still the most popular politician in town.

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