With the release of finance reports, the Houston mayor’s race gets interesting (finally).
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At last, the Houston mayor’s race is moving out of its summer torpor! The recent finance reports show councilman Peter Brown as a force to be reckoned with, with almost $2 million in the bank—though $700,000 of that is a personal loan. Gene Locke raised $1.14 million, with controller Annise Parker in third place, having raised more than $800,000. (All of this pales when compared to the $8.6 million raised by the then-unkown Bill White for his first campaign in 2003.)
The grumbling about “out of town money”—read national gay organizations—has begun, ditto the kind of extra crazy language parsing. When a gang shooting followed a free concert given by rapper Trae at Texas Southern University, one of Brown’s press representatives spent too much time trying to “correct” the record denoting the candidate as a host of the event. (Sure looks like he was.)
And then there has been the unfortunate firing of major fundraiser Sue Walden from the Locke campaign. Walden, well known about town, and well regarded in the big money, often but not necessarily GOP circles, had been a major figure in the campaign, raising the big money fast and furiously. Then, however, she discovered she had cancer, and missed a few critical political meetings while starting treatment—and got her walking papers. Whether Walden was fired for her illness (as she says) or because, as the campaign claims, they wanted someone who was working solely for Locke 24/7 (Walden is also currently working for Kay Bailey Hutchison) remains to be seen. But it’s one of those things that could hurt the candidate down the road: Walden has a long memory, a fat (computerized) rolodex, and is not a person you’d generally want mad at you…