The 2015 Houston Mayor’s race is marked by a strong and diverse list of candidates. At its outset, this close contest may be of some frustration to voters, but ultimately this is a good problem to have. Former Sheriff Adrian Garcia brings a record of executive experience and a positive outlook, but has remained a lackluster on charting new solutions to the city’s issues. Former Congressman Chris Bell has demonstrated strong progressive values on the campaign trail, but little insight of how to encourage and inspire Houstonians which do not share his views. Council Member Stephen Costello has proven himself invaluable during the Parker Administration, but also has not left the strongest impression for how he would advance the pension negotiations much further than the current status quo. Bill King‘s view as both former elected official and media observer has been a welcomed perspective, but his fickle positioning on contemporary issues like HERO and ReBuild Houston reveal that he is behind the times to lead Houston forward.
In another time, it’s easy to see why any of the above candidates could execute the job of Mayor. But for this time and the contemporary issues that Houston faces, one candidate seems best equipped to lead Houston’s municipal government in the next era. That candidate is Sylvester Turner.
Mayor Annise Parker’s time in office has been truly extraordinary. She led the city through the uncertain times of economic crisis, helped to basically re-write Houston’s perception within the rest of the country, and set her sights on long-term solutions with little regard to potential political risks. Her pragmatic, details-oriented approach has served the city well, and many of the seeds planted during her tenure will bear fruit for years to come.
After such intense focus on details, it’s time for Houstonians to broaden our vision, and seek the “big idea” approach once again. With challenges like the pension battle and growing economic disparities, Turner is well-suited to lead the city through its next phase. His years in Austin have (hopefully) given him the right levers to solve many budgetary issues where Parker could not. His background, growing up in Acres Homes and eventually graduating from the University of Houston and Harvard Law School, fosters the ability for Turner to build the right coalitions and keep the city moving in a positive direction.
The one quality which Turner has brought to the table that other candidates can’t quite match?? Big ideas. Everyone knows that employment for under-served communities and a crumbling infrastructure are two the areas largest hurdles. But only Turner sees the possibilities that could be achieved if we bring together our city’s under-employed workforce and train them to fix our streets while they gain valuable skills. This is his Road to the Future initiative, and it’s the type of thinking that Houstonians need right now.
The pick for Mayor of Houston is Sylvester Turner.