Mayoral candidates square off again

HOUSTON It's hard to believe there's only two months left before the next election. The major mayoral candidates are focusing on two main issues during their campaign events -- crime and the economy. But the tougher job may be trying to win over voters.

Another mayoral forum was held Thursday and once again, the four major candidates launched into their sales pitch.

Gene Locke, the former city attorney: "Experience, vision, and ability to lead."

Annise Parker, the current controller: "The job of city government is to make your daily life better."

Peter Brown, the council member: "Houston's my hometown. I know and love this city."

Roy Morales, the retired colonel: "We need to come to the center of universe when it comes to business."

While this quartet of candidates have braved dozens of forums, as a whole, our political consultant, Dr. Richard Murray, says as a whole, they haven't generated intense voter interest.

"The challengers haven't been able to raise much money," said Dr. Murray. "We've only really seen a few TV ads, so compared to six years ago, when the campaign was going hot and heavy, it's been a sleeper race to date."

Dr. Murray points out that Brown has been the only candidate to buy TV advertising so far, but his opponents are downplaying the potential benefit.

"Peter on TV right now, is too little too late," said Parker. "I'm going on TV soon. People are not paying attention now."

The bigger challenge, they say, is to get all their supporter invigorated in time to go to the polls this November.

"Let's not complain about why people have not been looking at it," said Locke. "It just gives us a great opportunity to in the next 60 days to really look at the mayor's race, the city of Houston and the candidates."

We expect both Locke and Parker to start television advertisements soon. As for the issues, all four candidates are spending a lot of time talking about preventing crime and bringing jobs to Houston.

Do you have a question for one of the candidates for mayor? Ask it online!

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