Do the City Hall Shuffle!

Term limits and raw ambition send local politicos on holiday shopping sprees

If Lovell faces Keller, expect the issue of seat-jumping to come up on the campaign trail.

"You have councilmembers who already represent constituents in the city," says Lovell, "and what you have to question is why do they want to move out of their districts to run at-large when they are only going to have one term anyway?"

Two wild cards from the past might provide new entertainment. Defeated Democratic state rep Ken Yarbrough may seek the same at-large council seat sought by Ellis, while former District E councilman Rob Todd says he's weighing a run for mayor against the likes of Orlando Sanchez, Bill White, Sylvester Turner and Berry. Todd says he's waiting for preliminary poll results, but "I'm getting increasing phone calls from all sorts of people encouraging me to look at it. It's tempting, but I want to see the numbers first."

Keller notes there's a crowd of former officials who just can't get that City Hall itch out of their system. "They listen to the talk over coffee, and they miss it," chuckles Keller. "They just want to run into the middle of a field and shout, 'Look at me!' "

Just call it the Poltergeist syndrome, after the movie about that house infested by all the stiffs who refuse to admit they're dead and move on. Our advice is similar to that of the little exorcist: "Run to the TV lights, children. All are welcome."

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