Best Democrat (2006)

Mayor Bill White

Bill White had some flubs in his first two and a half years as Houston's mayor: the fight against capping the city's ability to generate tax revenue, the enthusiastic push for a light rail referendum that's grown only more controversial since its passage, and the growing crime rate. But he is also remembered -- and will be for a long, long time -- for his quick, decisive, no-BS response to the wave of Katrina evacuees. Somehow he's gotten less of the spotlight than Harris County Judge Robert Eckels (probably because the Astrodome, forever linked with the hurricane response, is a county facility), but White's efforts and abilities were utterly crucial. He has always been willing to work with Republicans, sometimes to the chagrin of the city's hard-core Democrats, and as of right now, it looks like he'll cruise to a final re-election before term limits put him out of a job in 2009. Hmm -- that's just about when demographic trends have Texas becoming much more Democratic. Is Austin -- or the Senate -- calling?


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