Nothing in this post is to be taken as a knock on Mary Nan Huffman. Any other cycle, she would be the better choice. However, the thesis for why Buzbee is the better choice is markedly different from what’s going on at HCRP and Republican political machinations.
Houston is at an inflection point with this election. The choice before us for mayor is far-left progressive policies or a more temperate democratic policy bent. The conservative vote is of little consequence in Houston proper. Sure, districts A, E, and G are conservative. Maybe we get one of the at-large seats. That’s not enough to effect meaningful change in the City.
The City’s financial woes are going to come due for the next mayor and city council. The next mayor will seek to, and ultimately achieve, lifting or a significant modification of the spending cap that has helped restrain the City budget. What the City needs now is someone who can facilitate between the various factions of the City Council and try to build enough buy-in that reasonable, temperate measures pass through city council.
Tony will excel in this role. Sure, he will go through the budget with a fine-tooth comb, but if the votes aren’t there what good is exposing the nuts and bolts of the budget? Tony has the skill set to negotiate (in both senses of the word) the process and coalition building to make the coming financial reckoning as tolerable as possible.
Having followed his mayoral campaign significantly, there’s a side to Tony that most don’t understand. Once you get beneath the well-earned confidence he displays from his life successes, he’s actually a pretty humble guy. He listens and will actually take consideration of well-reasoned and presented information. It’s the combination of confidence and humility that’s going to make him successful on City Council.
This isn’t a knock on Mary Nan. She’s done a good job on City Council. However, right now the City needs a strong bridge builder that can help shape the future in a more palatable manner. That’s a task far more suited for Tony.