Houston Mayoral Election – Ad Wars


The Houston Mayoral election contest has heated up along with the temperatures this August.

Candidate Ben Hall launched a significant ad buy with ads that tell his background story. This is a fairly typical approach for a candidate unknown to voters. The ads are primarily focused on letting voters know that he comes from humble beginnings and is a highly educated, successful lawyer who pulled himself up by the bootstraps. In one of the three ads, Hall mentions Mayor Parker and says “Mayor Parker, we’ll talk later.”

Apparently, the Parker campaign took this personally. Within a few days, they launched their own attack ad on Ben Hall. It is a strong ad asking him if “he cared so much, why hasn’t he lived in Houston for the last 11 years? ” It should be noted that Ben Hall was previously a resident of the Memorial community, Piney Point Village. This is actually a separate municipality that is surrounded by Houston.

It was a little surprising to this observer that Mayor Parker came out swinging so hard this early and in response to primarily biographic ads by Hall. It shows that she clearly means to fight back and to take this campaign very seriously.

The response to Hall’s ads among this blogger’s world have been mixed. Inner loopers (Parker’s core) tend to find them “strange and odd.” People from the broader Houston community seem to be learning more about Ben Hall. Any number of clients and friends have indicated that they had no idea he “went to Harvard” and such. These are the people that Hall is targeting.

Do we really have a race on our hands? Hall has hired some top notch political consultants who have run many races across the U.S. and both hail from Texas. While their experience is primarily in Republican politics, they do not come from the ultra-conservative side of the spectrum.

In fact, both Mark Sanders and John Weaver were in Houston in 1997 to help Rob Mosbacher run against Lee P. Brown. While Brown won, it was a close race. It is now fascinating that these same folks are back to try and elect an African-American as Mayor.

One thing is for certain, Houston. We have a Mayoral contest in Houston this year. Buckle your seat belts for this one as it may be a wild ride.

This entry was originally posted at Nancy Sims' blog, Ponderings.