Quantity: Hall Wants 6 Debates with Parker

This was just released by Houston Mayoral candidate Ben Hall, via his website and social media…

July 31, 2013

The Honorable Annise Parker Mayor of Houston 901 Bagby Street Houston, TX 77002

Dear Mayor Parker,

I am writing to propose that you and I share our contrasting ideas and vision for the future of this great city through a series of debates.

Three debates should be held after Labor Day but prior to the start of early voting and three additional debates after the start of early voting and before our November election. Too much is at stake for us not to share our plans for Houston with her citizens, and I hope you agree promptly to debating six times this fall.

I have instructed my staff to contact your campaign staff to begin discussions on the details.

Please accept this invitation.


Ben Hall

This bold challenge comes at a time when the Hall campaign has struggled to dominate the news cycle. The seemingly endless parade of “Houston is best” lists continue to cast a resplendent light on the Parker administration. And what little press Hall is garnering is sadly not so good. As fellow blogger Horwitz at Texpatriate writes, Hall’s social media outreach has become something of a worst-case scenario.

To be clear, I fully support Mr. Hall’s call for some Mayoral debates. This election is important to Houstonians, and they deserve to hear contrasting visions for the city. But six debates, especially three packed in during early voting, seems overly excessive. It smacks of desperation from the Hall campaign if they are trying to rely so heavily on undecided voters. As the percentage of early voters continues to climb… 30 percent voted early in the last Mayoral election and a whopping 58 percent in 2012, the thought of having some last-minute debate shocker save the day isn’t very feasible. Hall needs to start sharing with voters the specifics of what he can offer the city of Houston, and why he would be a better choice than the current administration. If Facebook troubles weren’t enough of an indicator, it’s time for the Hall campaign to think quality over quantity.