Running: Stephen Costello Declares For Mayor

With three successful citywide elections under his belt and a prominent position on Houston City Council, Stephen Costello is already a major force in Texas politics.  But today the At-Large Council Member has taken a step towards even greater prominence, formally announcing his candidacy for Mayor of Houston.

Here’s more information via campaign press release

Small businessman, engineer and Houston City Council Member Steve Costello will formally launch his campaign for mayor today.

[…]

“I’m running for mayor because Houston is the greatest city in America, but I recognize we have real problems that need to be fixed. We simply can, and must, do better,” said Costello. “You can’t drive down our pot-hole ridden streets, waste hours stuck in traffic, or examine the city’s financial health without thinking ‘we can do better.’ I may not be the flashiest candidate in the race, but as an engineer and experienced City Council Member, I am the most qualified to look at our problems and roll up my sleeves to find logical solutions. That’s exactly how I’ll lead as Houston’s next mayor.”

The field of candidates is already quite plentiful, with State Representative Sylvester Turner, former Congressman Chris Bell, latest runner-up Ben Hall and former Kemah Mayor Bill King already declared while Sheriff Adrian Garcia and Council Member Oliver Pennington are likely to also assumed to enter the race.

Touting his experience as a Civil Engineer and major political accomplishments like the Rebuild Houston initiative, Costello promised to put infrastructure improvement as a central focus of his campaign.

In a recent interview with Craig Cohen on Houston Matters, Costello shared many of his viewpoints on the city’s greatest transportation and infrastructural challenges.  While he supports Rebuild Houston, the program’s deployment may be substantially different.  He also shares plans for Complete Streets, and revealed why he “doesn’t ride a bike within the city”

Much of Costello’s work on Council has been led by the current Mayor, Annise Parker.  Though he has worked closely with Parker and has often been a key player on important legislation, the Council Member is also quick to show where he and Parker do not see eye to eye on every issue.

On the city’s recently announced détente with the firefighter’s pension… a 3-yr. deal which would allow both parties to change their contribution levels in the short term, but leave the city owing more down the road, Costello was forthright, calling the plan a bad bad deal.  Instead he pledges to work for greater local control from the state legislature.  Again from the campaign press release…

“As the state’s largest city and the one with the most pressing pension problem, Houstonians should have the authority to craft our own solution rather than leave our fate in the hands of politicians in Austin.”

Way back in 2009, Costello won his first election to Council with a campaign focused not on politics, but on fixing the city’s issues.  In his political life, Costello has offered much of that same focus.  Though he never seems to shy away from a disagreement, Costello has managed to avoid much of the sensationalism that other Council Members seem to catalyze.

With a solid record built on seeking solutions, Stephen Costello is sure to be a front-runner in the race for Mayor.  This November, we’ll see who crosses the tape first.

 

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2 thoughts on “Running: Stephen Costello Declares For Mayor”

  1. The problem with social engineers like Costello is that the right will hate him and he won’t be left enough for the hardcore liberals of the left, more moderate positions already staked out by seasoned political vets of all persuasions. His biggest issues are pension reform, all but dead courtesy of Parker’s deals, and fixing roads when there is just no money to accelerate infrastructure repair thanks to bond payments coming due over the next several years. Given his three successful runs for council where the under vote was nearly 50% of the amount of votes he received, usually against perennial, extremely marginal candidates, I wish Steve well but don’t see him making the run off (especially if he focuses on issues he will have little ability to address). Maybe someone will throw him a bone for his endorsement in the run off predicted to take place, some small appointment where he can work on a better future strategy.

  2. Fortunately for mr. Costello, Houston politics are rarely about social agendas. Something Anise Parker evidently chose to forget after her last election.

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