Mayor Parker Sworn In At Houston City Hall
January 2, 2010


picture taken by photographer Jenny Antill. 

Congratulations to Mayor Annise Parker and City of  Houston Controller Ronald Green. 

Both were sworn in on Saturday, January 2, 2010 during a private ceremony at city hall. 

With her partner Kathy Hubbard standing beside her, Parker was sworn in as Houston’s 61st Mayor and first openly gay person elected to lead the nation’s fourth largest city. 

The event was historic for another reason: Parker was sworn in by her close friend and former campaign manager Steven Kirkland, who is the first openly gay person elected as a state district judge in Harris County. 

Mayor Parker and City Controller sworn in  

This is the official news release   

With her hand on her grandparents’ Bible, Annise D. Parker was sworn in as Mayor of Houston in a private ceremony held at Houston City Hall today.  State District Judge Steven Kirkland administered the oath to Mayor Parker.  City Controller Ronald C. Green also took the oath of office.  Green’s wife, Harris County Justice of the Peace Hilary Green, had the honor of administering the oath to her husband.  A small gathering of family and friends was present. 

 The private ceremony was held to meet the legal requirements of the City Charter, which mandate the transfer of power occur on January 2.  The official public inauguration of Mayor Parker, City Controller Green and Houston City Council is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Monday at the Wortham Theater Center. 

Mayor Parker chose the private Saturday morning ceremony followed by a formal public inaugural on Monday to avoid the overtime costs the city would have incurred from having to call in police and other city employees for a weekend inauguration.  She also did not want to interrupt the holiday weekend for city employees.  “At a time when the city is facing budget shortfalls, we will be continually looking for ways to cut expenses,” said Mayor Parker.  

The inaugural celebration will end Monday evening with a free concert from 6 to 9 p.m. at Discovery Green.

A Low Key Filing Day For Mayoral Candidate Peter Brown
September 1, 2009

Houston City Council Member Peter Brown is filing paperwork and paying the required fee today to get his name on the ballot as a candidate for Mayor of Houston.

Unlike  Annise Parker and Gene Locke, Brown is not holding a big rally with his supporters on the steps of   city hall. 

He isn’t asking members of the few organizations that endorsed him to applaud and hold campaign signs in front of the TV news cameras.

I spoke with Brown campaign manager Lucinda Guinn, who says that “Brown wants to focus on the substantive issues facing the city.” 

Guinn was referring to the questions surrounding the $25 Million to $103 Million shortfall.

This morning the fiscal affairs committee is being briefed on the problem.

Of course, Brown is the first major mayoral candidate to launch a TV political ad.  Last week Brown told 2 On The Beat that he plans to keep a heavy presence on TV, and continue to reach out directly to the voters.

Mayoral Candidates Staying Busy
May 17, 2009

It’s tough being a candidate for mayor  of  Houston this time of year. 

 The  voters are not paying much attention and the media isn’t ready to commit to covering your campaign.

That hasn’t stopped the people  who want to  be your next mayor from keeping a busy schedule on the campaign trail. 

Brown Opens Headquarters: 

On Saturday, City Councilman Peter Brown held a block party to officially open his campaign headquarters.

 About 200 people showed up to hear Brown talk about  his plans for Houston’s future. 

 I couldn’t make it, but his campaign sent me these photos of  Brown posing with his supporters, which include Rev. Bill Lawson and community  activist  Mary Ramos.


A Birthday Party filled with Politics

City Controller Annise Parker celebrated her 53rd birthday Sunday by hosting a political fundraiser  at her home near downtown. 

annise parker 004annise parker 002

Her media aide told me that the campaign has set a goal to raise $1 million dollars by June.  That’s  when all  of  the mayoral  candidates are required to file their first  campaign finance reports, and we’ll finally get a peek at  how much money the candidates are raising and who is contributing to each of the campaigns.

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The election is in November.

Most political analysts  say it will take a runoff  between the top two vote getters  to pick Houston’s next mayor.

Bill King Rules Out Politics in ’09
February 5, 2009

 He wanted to run for Mayor of Houston, until some other well funded, and better known candidates started complicating the race. 

Supporters urged him to consider a run for an at-large Houston City Council seat or  the Controller’s office, but his heart just didn’t seem in it.

Today,  Bill King has  announced that he is officially not running for any elected office in  2009!

In an  email message to supporters, King said there were political and personal reasons for his decision. 

 “I believe that my candidacy would likely result in an election that would emphasize partisan and other divides.  It is my belief that such an election would not be healthy for the City or, frankly, particularly favorable to my candidacy,”  King stated  in his email.

In other words, 2 on the Beat believes he’s saying, “I”m a republican and I can’t win citywide.”

I doubt we have heard the last of King.  The  prominent attorney and popular former Mayor of Kemah  is an expert on hurricane preparedness, and his insight would be valuable to the state and local communities.

Locke Makes His Mayoral Bid Official
January 31, 2009


**The following is the official News Release from the Locke Campaign**

HOUSTON – January 30, 2009 – Prominent Houston attorney Gene Locke today officially designated a campaign treasurer. The official filing clears the way for his entrance into Houston’s 2009 mayoral race.

“I took the step of designating Jacob Monty so I could begin using money for my campaign to succeed Bill White as Mayor.  With a background as diverse as Houston’s – and a work ethic that has helped me cultivate the many opportunities citizens here are afforded – I am confident and ready to lead this city into a new era of prosperity,” says Locke.  “This is a time for Houston to prepare and respond – if it becomes necessary – to challenges. We endured and learned from the oil bust of the 1980s,  and more recently handled devastating hurricanes with heart, muscle and optimism.  I intend to exemplify, and hold high, these elements of our community’s winning spirit as I roll out a successful campaign.”

The son of a teacher and grandson of farmers, Locke graduated valedictorian from his high school in Marshall, Texas. He was accepted to the University of Houston shortly after the school integrated.  There he became known for his leadership and attentiveness to social issues and civil rights.  Later, he entered South Texas College School of Law, working days at the Shell refinery and attending classes at night.

After receiving his law degree Locke moved to Washington to serve as Chief of Staff to Representative Mickey Leland.  His influence and reputation grew as he returned to his chosen city.  He served as Houston City Attorney under Mayor Bob Lanier from 1995-1998.   A partner at Andrews Kurth LLP law firm, Locke remains General Counsel to the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority where he has been instrumental in putting together contracts that brought Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium and the Toyota Center to fruition.

Gene Locke is a devoted husband and father. His wife, Aubrey Sampson Locke; daughters, Tembi and Attica; sons, Nicholas, Douglas and Thomas – are among his biggest supporters. Locke notes, “This race has been a long time coming. I feel like I have been preparing for this all my life. I am now at a point where I can do whatever is necessary to achieve my goal of being the best mayor to ever serve this great city.”