Charismatic Houston Mayor, Annise Parker stomped over a plethora of editorial opinions and analysis suggesting an election run-off to clinch a third and final two-year tenure. Parker overrun a column of eight challengers with more than 50 percent of the votes, enough to avoid a December runoff. As of press time, 96 percent of the votes have been reported with Mayor Parker polling 57 percent leaving her closest rival Benjamin Hall with a bothersome 28 percent. Hall who rallied his supporters at the House of Dereon quickly conceded, congratulated Mayor Parker, and thanked his supporters for a great campaign season.
Hall went head-to-head with Mayor Parker in the campaign season, and faulted her as a manager who relied on “stagnant tax policies” and abnormal licensing and permit fees as revenue sources. Halls had resumed his campaign track with a pricy TV Ad that touted his scholarly status and love for Houston – and challenged Parker for a ‘talk’ over city issues. The Parker campaign responded with impunity, labeling Hall as “The Man Who Wasn’t There,” for the city, and also depicting him as a tax-evader. These allegations grounded Hall all through the campaign period, and left him gasping in defense, up till the Election Day.
Elected first in 2009, Parker won her second term in 2011. Her current victory will allow her a ‘term-limited’ final two more years. In the past four years, Parker had overhauled a troubled police department under Chief Harold Hurtt. In January 2011 for instance, almost one year after Mayor Parker took office, HPD reported a drop in 2010 murders to 7% at 267, compared to 287 from 2009. Similarly, in January 2012 Mayor Parker and Houston Police Chief Charles A. McClelland, Jr. revealed that city murder rate has been the lowest per capita, since 1965 to 198. A 26.4 % drop from the previous year.
Mayor Parker’ accomplishments as the city’s mayor incontestably helped her an easy poll success. She had led Houston through the worst recession in generations and helped advanced the city into a brighter and more sustainable future. Even as the campaign dragged into an eleventh-hour free-for-all campaign punches, President Barack Obama handed down an endorsement to Mayor Parker, praising Parker’s role in rebuilding Houston’s economy and creating a safer city. According to President Obama, “Under Mayor Annise Parker’s leadership, Houstonians have come together to lift their city out of the recession and today, Houston is at the forefront of moving America’s economy forward.”
Flanked by a crowd of supporters and well-wishers, Parker gave her victory speech Tuesday night at the George R. Brown Convention Center, opening her arms once again to embrace a collective prolongation of the mission to make Houston the best city in the United states. Mayor Parker had maintained this all through her electioneering campaign, that “It takes all of us to make Houston the best city in America, and we all share the credit for Houston’s success.”