Tag Archives: Theodore Schleifer Houston Chronicle

On the Road Again: Turner Enters Houston Mayor’s Race

Most people are guided by an old idiom… “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  Implied within is the assumption that even the most challenging tasks are worth at least three attempts.

That saying has now proven to be the case for State Representative Sylvester Turner, whom finally revealed Houston’s worst kept political secret this week.  Via campaign press release, he’s running for Mayor and bringing some big ideas with him…

State Representative Sylvester Turner announced his candidacy for Mayor of Houston this morning – and immediately proposed a new “Road to the Future” initiative to teach young Houstonians a combination of vocational and life skills they need to become employable while providing on-the-job training repairing Houston’s streets and roads.

“We all need smoother streets,” said Turner. “But we also need to build better roads to the future for so many of our young people who are being left behind. I know we can do both.”


As part of the Road to the Future initiative, Turner will bring together community colleges, businesses, labor unions and non-profit organizations to create a combination of classroom instruction and structured summer jobs, after-school jobs, after-high-school jobs and bridge jobs – real jobs with real skills that will help make the promise of Houston real for every Houstonian.

Turner said his priorities as mayor will include a top-to-bottom performance review of the city’s Department of Public Works and implementation of a quick-fix program for potholes; stepping up community policing efforts and improving relationships between HPD and communities of color; and addressing economic inequality through increased support for schools and better aligning community college-based workforce training with actual private sector job needs.

A veteran of Texas politics, this latest declaration follows a 12 year gap between his last run for Mayor in 2003, and a 1991 run 12 years before that.

Turner is entering the race with some important advantages, certainly not the least of which is the bold new jobs proposal discussed above, and in his first campaign video.  It may be no coincidence that the candidate’s Road to the Future proposal holds some similarities with a recent partnership formed by the city (via the Houston Airport System) and local community colleges.  The process Turner has put on the table is taking much of what Mayor Parker and CM Jerry Davis outlined, but applying it to other areas of city infrastructure.  But the major attribute of Turner’s plan is that it could occur all across the city, instead of having to transport participants to one training site like IAH.  Even if it doesn’t end up happening, it’s smart politics to start off the race with big ideas that are going to get noticed.

But along with big ideas, Sylvester Turner has also proven he can bring the big bucks.  As the Houston Chronicle‘s Theodore Schleifer reports, Turner has a huge fundraising advantage over other mayoral candidates right out of the gate.

On Friday, Turner is expected to name David Mincberg as his campaign treasurer of his mayoral account and inform the Texas Ethics Commission that his legislative account is effectively closed. He will begin the mayoral race with $900,000 of that $1 million to spend, according to his campaign, a head start that motivated a still-alive challenge by one of Turner’s opponents, Chris Bell, who argues that Turner is violating city campaign laws.

Who’s to say if fellow candidate Chris Bell’s complaints will gain any traction.  And of course anything can happen in the next 9 months.  But for today, the road ahead of Sylvester Turner appears quite promising in his run for City Hall.  We’ll all have to wait to find out if the 3rd time truly is the charm.

Chron: Sheriff Adrian Garcia Certain To Run For Mayor

The clock is slowly ticking on towards the Houston municipal elections.  But one area that has seen significant action is the race for Mayor. This week, another major candidate has made moves that are sure to shake up the race.  Theodore Schleifer of the Houston Chronicle reports that all the signs point to an impending announcement from Garcia…

Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia is sending every possible message that he intends to run for mayor this year, aggressively increasing his political operations and signaling to some close advisers and backers that a campaign may be imminent.

Garcia, under the Texas Constitution, would have to resign as a county official immediately upon declaring his candidacy. That presents Garcia, who watchers expect to immediately move to the field’s top tier if he joins the burgeoning mayoral fray, with a fateful decision: Does he step down as the county’s top Democratic officeholder to make a bid that would make him either Houston’s first Latino mayor, or politically unemployed?

“At the end of the day, it’s like standing at the craps table, placing the bet – and you could walk away with nothing,” said Garcia confidant Greg Compean.


Perhaps most tellingly, county sources say, is that Garcia’s top staff at the Sheriff’s Office are looking to jump as they eye other county positions that would give them a landing place beyond Garcia’s tenure and vest them in the county’s pension system. Garcia’s top lieutenant and close friend, Armando Tello, left last month for a lower-profile post in Precinct 6, and other executive officers currently are scoping out other opportunities.

“He’s running,” said Hispanic Chamber of Commerce head Laura Murillo, who once considered her own bid for mayor. “He’s getting ready to make his announcement very soon.”

Murillo is not in Garcia’s inner circle, but several of the sheriff’s other allies confirmed a bid is all but inevitable.

Sheriff Garcia joins a growing field of possible candidates… including State Representative Sylvester Turner, former Congressman and City Council member Chris Bell, current Council Members Stephen Costello, Jack Christie and Oliver Pennington, Ben Hall, Bill King and Orlando Sanchez.  Crowded doesn’t even begin to tell the story here, but it’s important to note that some candidates have more potential than others.  From the pillars of potential money and name ID, Garcia presumably sits in the upper echelon of contenders right out of the gate with Sylvester Turner.  Though there is certainly nothing to stop Ben Hall from bank rolling his own massive campaign, as we basically saw from 2013.

Side note… are there any women interested in running for Mayor? Any??

By far, a Garcia run will have the most immediate impact on local politics.  As Dos Centavos points out, his resignation as County Sheriff could mean a substantial roll back of the Progressive policy agenda that has been actualized in recent years.  Would a more Conservative Sheriff dismantle aggressive Mental Health reforms and LGBT protections in Harris County law enforcement?  That remains to be seen.  But those fears aside, there is no doubt that Garcia is a most worthy candidate to lead the city of Houston.

Brains and EggsOff the Kuff and Texpatriate have more on this fast-moving development.



(Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia.  Photo credit:  harrisdemocrats.org