There are four candidates for Houston Mayor, the election of which is approaching - possibly rapidly, since I don't know when the election actually is (I'm assuming it's in November, but I don't follow these things that closely). I know there are four candidates because there was a mayoral debate on Tuesday and it disrupted all ABC programming during that hour. Fortunately, the show it interrupted was Kelsey Grammer's new show, "Hank," so nobody missed out (and frankly, I would like to elect whoever chose that debate slot to the mayoral position).
The candidates names are Gene Locke, Annise Parker, Roy Moralis, and Peter Brown. Do I know this because I'm a conscientious, well-read Houston area resident who takes an active part in local politics? No, I know this because while at the Animal Hospital today, I read the October issue of Houston Pet Talk, the "definitive source for Houston pet lovers" (I would assume, or at least hope, that there is not much competition for that role).
The magazine had an interview with each candidate on pet-related issues: mandatory spaying, allowing dogs on restaurant patios, the "dire need of change" and "raging controversy" at BARC (I had no idea what BARC was or why there was controversy, and still don't), and so on. So now I know something about each candidate, but only in this one specific area. I was curious to see if that was enough to learn enough about a candidate to vote on. So I extrapolated all of their answers and tried to make fully-realized candidates from their responses.
Peter Brown seemed intelligent and experienced, but lacked the long-time politician manner. He answered all the questions specifically and with a clear understanding of all the issues at hand - he'd clearly done some prep work for this interview. He name-checked a lot of private contractors and volunteer organizations, so I have to assume that he's spent a number of his years on boards of organizations like... the Humane Society, or Habitat For Humanity, stuff like that. He sounds successful - the sort of guy who's been a CEO and is comfortable looking at big-picture stuff.
He was photographed with his black lab, Petra.
Gene Locke - also seemed intelligent and comfortable answering the questions, and was very specific in his answers; when asked about when he last visited BARC, he answered "July 10, 2009." The man clearly didn't take the interview lightly. His interview was peppered with phrases like "entrepreneurial spirit" and pushing for to Houston residents to take a more active part in the process. He felt strongly like a self-made man - the sort of guy who had either worked his way up from the bottom, or started his own company that became very successful later on in life. His interview was peppered with many more government references - to task force reports and the like - which made me think he had at least some government experience.
He was photographed with his dog and his wife, neither of whom were named.
Annise Parker - Parker's interview screamed life-long politician. She made numerous references to policies already and place and things that were already working, which made me assume that she already has a role in Houston-area government and is making the leap. She even used the phrase "bully pulpit" when referring to the mayoral position, which assured me that she'd been eyeing this jump for a long time now. Her answers were very knowledgeable, but there was a hint of desperation to them - a lot of insinuating that she'd already done a lot for Houston and was clearly the most experienced person for the job. Though perhaps there I was reading too much into it.
Parker was photographed with her dog and her cat, all three of whom looked extremely uncomfortable and ready to bolt at any moment.
Roy Moralis - I could tell little about Moralis other than that he clearly did almost no prep work for this interview and he was considerably less sharp than the other three interviewees. He spoke almost entirely in broad non-specifics and didn't seem to have any grasp on the issues at hand - the interview was full of things like "positive change is needed," "as Mayor, I would take an in-depth look," "I would certainly address specific guidelines," and so on. He seemed entirely out of his depth.
Moralis was photographed with his admittedly handsome golden retriever, and referred to himself as someone who "enjoys pets." Now, that's some low-quality pandering, right there.
My early prediction for the Mayoral race? Locke, followed closely by Parker, and then Brown, with Moralis a distant fourth.
In a related note, I will not actually be voting in this election, since I'm clearly not qualified to cast a ballot here.
Sometime later I'll look up all the candidates and see how accurate I was. Unless someone wants to do so for me?