Houston mayoral race gets off to early start with campaign ads


Typically the start to the mayoral campaign, as tradition has it, is Labor Day. But this year, one of the candidates decided to get a jump on things.

It hit the air on broadcast TV Wednesday evening -- a 60 second bio delivered by successful lawyer and former city attorney Ben Hall, who wants to be Houston's next mayor.

Both Hall and Mayor Annise Parker have declared for the race. For Parker it would be her third and final term under limitations placed on city office holders. Incumbency is a high hurdle to overcome, and for Hall, there's also the matter of name identification. Translation: Do voters know who he is?

Hall said, "We've got to increase the name identification so people will at least listen to the policy options, which are substantially different from hers."

It may be more than name identification alone. An ad like this first one can send another message.

Rice University Political Science Chair Mark Jones said, "It generates news stories, as well as signals to potential donors that he's serious about this race."

The Hall for mayor ad did not go unnoticed by the Parker campaign. An email sent to supporters read in part, "My multimillionaire opponent went up on TV last night and this guy is spending real money. . .. I don't have millions of dollars in my personal bank account but our grassroots army can overwhelm his checkbook with your help."

The Hall campaign is soliciting donations as well.

A spokesperson for Mayor Parker's campaign would not say when her ads would begin airing, calling that a matter of campaign strategy which they will not disclose.

Find Deborah on Facebook at ABC13DeborahWrigley or on Twitter at @wrigleyabc13

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