Houston mayoral candidates sit down with Ted Oberg

Reporter Ted Oberg sits down with Houston's three mayoral candidates -- Ben Hall, Eric Dick and Annise Parker.
August 29, 2013 5:03:36 PM PDT
This week, three people wanting to be Houston's next mayor took part in web conversations here at ABC13. So what did we learn about the candidates?

The mayor knows this is a good time to run our city, and she told us so.

"We are blessed to be in Houston. We have the hottest economy in the United States. Things are going in the right direction, it's going great," Parker said.

But over the course of our three hours of conversation with her and her opponents, it wasn't as kind.

"I believe that the city of Houston is a Ferrari, and I think the mayor believes the highest and best use of the mayor's office is simply to make sure the car has gas in it," challenger Ben Hall said.

Eric Dick was even less charitable to the mayor.

"She's not a nice person. I'm serious, she's not a nice person," Dick said.

But none of those answers solve problems facing Houstonians so we got into issues, like how to manage the city's growth and how to tackle the looming $13 billion pension debt.

"You don't have to go out to the suburbs; you can find what you want in the inner city," Parker said.

"I think we should challenge some of the assumptions on the actuarial loss," Hall said.

We asked about Houston's crime and pushed for answers on how to pay for them.

"We need more police officers," Dick said.

Dick wouldn't raise taxes to do it, and that's also why he's voting "No" on the county's plan to save the Astrodome.

Hall and the mayor both said they'd keep it.

"We're going to save the Dome," Hall said.

"How are you going to vote on the dome?" we asked Parker.

"Yes," she said.

This is a taste from our conversations with the candidates over the last three days, but the whole point of this project is to give you more than a soundbite, and that's why we've put the entire hour from each of the candidates online. They'll be there until Election Day.

Find Ted on Facebook at ABC13TedOberg or on Twitter at @tedoberg

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