DISTRICT A Helena Brown 3,035 55.5% Brenda Stardig 2,435 44.5% Cast Votes: 5,470 DISTRICT B Alvin Byrd 3,029 49.2% Jerry Davis 3,127 50.8% Cast Votes: 6,156 AT-LARGE POSITION 2 Kristi Thibaut 25,945 49.8% Andrew Burks 26,156 50.2% Cast Votes: 52,101 AT-LARGE POSITION 5 Jack Christie 30,600 54.2% Jolanda Jones 25,819 45.8% Cast Votes: 56,419
Tough to see any situation whereby Andrew Burks will be on council for two full years. The GOP types who played in the election wanted him there, though. It’ll be interesting to see how he ends up voting. Likewise, with Jack Christie.
Kuff notes that the next cycle has only one open seat: Melissa Noriega’s. And whether anyone thinks their odds would be better there or in a smaller field against Burks is certainly a worthwhile question for now. But it’ll have to wait until we have a sense of who sees 2013 as their time for either At Large spot. I’d hope to see a viable Hispanic candidate end up in the mix for either seat. Whether Jones and/or Stardig look to make comebacks next time around also seems like a good hypothetical.
As for finding some meaning behind it all, I’m not convinced that there’s much to find. I’m not quite convinced of Professor Stein’s hypothesis from the General Election. And I’m not entirely convinced it was the central defining issue of the runoff, either.
Among the things I’ll be looking for in the final canvass is what the vote looks like among the absentees vs the in-person ballots. In the case of the AL2 contest, that made all of the difference for Burks. And my hunch is that it allowed him to get a slice of the GOP-leaning vote that he probably didn’t get among the in-persons.
As for “JoJo/Christie 5″, I think the contest had it’s own dynamic, independent of much of the other races going on. And while the turnout model of 2009 and the Mayoral runoff that followed helped save Jolanda, while the lower turnout of 2011 and significantly lower turnout of the runoff made it too steep of a hill. Suffice it to say, but if elections were held in even numbered years, Houston City Council would look dramatically different.