What's that sound? Dust settling?
No....Dust doesn't really make any sound as it settles. Nevertheless, dust is settling, dammit, after Election 08, and it's time to pick the local winners and losers.
We're here to help.
1. Bill White. Everyone wanted to be Mayor Bill White's best buddy this election -- Democrats, Republicans, people who claimed to be neither. White showed up in ads and flyers for a slew of candidates, even though he didn't endorse anyone (remaining oh-so-nobly above the fray.) He provided cover for sheriff candidate Adrian Garcia when incumbent Tommy Thomas ridiculously brought up the fact Garcia had admitted smoking dope as a kid, and helped defuse the issue. Now White gets to spend the next year being coy about whether he's going to run for Governor or Senator.
2. Interim District Attorney Kenneth Magidson. He wasn't on the ballot, either, but a lot of people began to think he should have been. Appointed to fill out the rest of disgraced DA Chuck Rosenthal's term, Magidson, a federal prosecutor, quickly restored a sense of professionalism and hope among the dispirited staffers in the DA office. Neither of the two candidates running to take over the job were exactly inspiring; if any race this year was a "lesser of two evils" choice, the DAs race was it. There's not a few people in Houston wishing Magidson decides to come back in four years.
3. The Breakfast Klub. You already are known for making the best soul breakfasts in town. And then the local Obama headquarters opens across the street from you? Business gets good. And it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of people.
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1. Allen Blakemore. The Karl Rove of local GOP politics, the swaggering Blakemore had a bad, bad year: One of his flyers attacked a state rep candidate for taking too much vacation time. He had to apologize when it turned out the reason the judge had substitutes hearing cases in her court was because she was tied up with lengthy capital-murder cases. Another flyer in a different lege race was widely denounced as racist. And his protege got beaten badly in his race for a seat in Austin. Democrats could not be blamed for chuckling, if not chortling loudly.
2. Judges Running In 2010. For years, simply having an "R" after your name was enough to guarantee job security in the Harris County courthouse. No longer. Although a handful of GOP judges kept their seats, the long-expected Dem takeover of Harris County finally occurred. Good (and bad) judges were tossed out...and, to be sure, elected. W4ell-known judges like Mike McSpadden, Tracy Christopher, Jan Krocker -- you're all on the clock.
3. Nick Lampson. Redistricted out of office by the dastardly doings of Tom DeLay, Lampson somehow won DeLay's seat to get back to Congress. For one term. The heavily Republican 22nd District was long a focus of webroots-type of politicos from both sides of the aisle. Lampson had all the money he needed, but in the end it wasn't close. We assume he'll be sitting around lobbying for Austin to redistrict him a new seat for 2010, but his expiration date has likely passed.
-- Richard Connelly