Senator John Whitmire Disturbed by “Smear Tactics” In Mayor’s Race
November 25, 2009

Both Houston Mayoral candidates Annise Parker and Gene Locke are viewed as friendly on issues important to the Democratic party.

 While city elections are officially non-partisan, each of the candidates has also reached out to Republicans and Independents to win votes in the runoff  race for Mayor of  Houston.

(see my earlier post about both Locke and Parker speaking to the Houston Pachyderm Club, a Republican group.https://2onthebeat.wordpress.com/2009/11/18/will-conservative-voters-choose-houstons-next-mayor/)

Some of the folks who  don’t support  Locke or his policies,  are criticizing him for  reaching out to the same  critical group of  voters being courted by Parker. 

You may recall that Locke also came under fire for speaking to the conservative leaning U.S. Pastor Council,  because some  of the ministers are attacking Parker for her sexual orientation

 Ironically, many of  Parker’s supporters were silent earlier this week when Mayor Bill White, who is also a likely Democratic party  candidate for Governor, was honored for his work in office by the same group. ( here’s the link to the Houston’s Chronicle’s coverage: http://blogs.chron.com/houstonpolitics/2009/11/bill_white_speaks_to_the_pasto.html)

It begs the question, are democrats willing to destroy one of their own, for the sake of  getting another candidate elected?

The blistering attacks on Locke have  forced Houston Senator John Whitmire,  a Locke supporter,  to issue a statement condemning the tone of the negative campaigning.

“It concerns me that fellow Democrats are resorting to smear tactics to destroy the reputation of my good friend Gene Locke.  Our friendship spans nearly four decades.  Throughout his career, both in the public and private sector, Gene has never been questioned on matters involving ethics or personal finances,” said Whitmire in a statement released by the Locke campaign.

” In fact, Gene has counseled many public officials on issues involving ethics and financial disclosure.  Those of  us that have worked closely with Gene can vouch for ethics for his ethics and character.  When Gene wins this race, rest assured he will follow all laws and ordinances that have been required of past mayors on these issues.  Let’s try to have a discussion on issues important to rank and file Democrats throughout the city like public safety, transportation, and good parks,” continued Whitmire.

Will this change the tone of   the campaign?

Doubtful.

But, whether Parker or  Locke wins or loses the runoff, neither should have to walk away with  his or  her  personal character and professional reputation in pieces, simply because each tried to make a difference by running for Mayor of  Houston.