State Rep. Sylvester Turner (D-Acres Homes), having run competitive Houston Mayor races in 1991 and 2003 is considering a third try. If Turner enters this fall’s fight for Houston’s top job it whould shake up the CEO contest and impact all the other city races.
“People have asked me to look at it. Some are elected officials and some community folk I’m not interested in trying to dangle something out there. I’ll take a look at it and make a decision fairly soon,” Turner said serving as key note orator to the Fort Bend Juneteenth festivities Thursday. He told the anxious audience he will make his decision during the next few weeks.
Turner grew up in Acres Homes and graduated from the University of Houston before Harvard Law School. He founded Barnes and Turner Law Office in 1983 and has served as UH and South Texas College of Law lecturer and TSU Marshall Law School Professor.
Turner was elected to the Texas House in 1988 and rose to Speaker Pro-Tem. If Sheila Jackson Lee were to retire or resign to work at Hillary Clinton’s State Department he would run for her US House seat.
When Tom Craddick lost Speaker of the Texas House Turner lost his Pro-Tem post as the highest ranking Texas Democrat. Pundits predict his missing that power and Jackson Lee not quitting Congress is driving his mayoral decision making.
“It’s no mystery my interest is Houston. That’s clearly there,” Turner said. “I’ll look at how this race has unfolded, whether people are looking for another option and whether or not people think I’d be a good fit for where the city is at this time.”
Turner nearly beat Bob Lanier in 1991. Then Bill White took Democrats away from him he believed were his in 2003. If Turner thrusts into the run he will thwart former city attorney Gene Locke’s longing to be the only black mayor candidate this year when blacks are 40 percent of the electorate.
Benefiting most from another black in the battle are Annise Parker and Peter Brown who are battling to buoy their own black voters. Brown already has an earned reputation of having stock piled entrenched support in African American, Hispanic and Asian American communities. If he can achieve 15-20 percent of the black vote it is believed he can make the run-off and win the election.
Locke is motivated by Obama’s race last year. Parker’s voters want her to be the first gay big city mayor.
Karen Derr, real estate entrepreneur and north side activist, Herman Litt, former HCC Trustee and Lonnie Alston, frustrated Heights bar builder still are the only candidates for Brown’s seat at large 1.
African Americans Rozy Shorter and Andrew Burks are considering contesting Sue Lovell for at large 2.
African American Green Party gay activist Alfred Molison has filed his treasurer designation to oppose District C City Council Member Anne Clutterbuck.
African American former assistant Texas Attorney General Lewis Cook has designated his treasurer to run for the District F seat MJ Khan is leaving and Richard Sedita has designated his treasurer for District G, the seat Pam Holm is leaving.
Saturday Houston Police Department Homicide Sergeant Ed Gonzalez earned more than 61 percent of the vote to succeed Sheriff Adrian Garcia for The Heights and near northside District H seat Garcia gave up when he bacame Harris County Sheriff this year.
“I feel just tremendous,” Gonzalez said celebrating Saturday night with his wife Dr. Melissa Gonzalez, a UH business professor who he has built a Heights bakery and joined by their four daugthers and hundreds of friends and family including Congressmen Al Green and Gene Green, Sheila Jackson Lee, State Senators Rodnely Ellis, John Whitmire and Mario Gallegos, State Reps, Amando Walle, Anna Hernandez and Jesscia Farrar, County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia, Constables Ruben Davis and Victor Trevino.
“I feel humbled at the fact that the voters of District H have spoken,” Gonzalez said with the theme from Rocky blasting around him.
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