The Dean’s Time
Yesterday I mentioned Lionel Ritchie. It is Richie. Sorry.
It is official today. Harris County’s experimentation with an Elections Administrator Office is history. Adios, sayonara, goodbye, auf Wiedersehen, and Arrivederci. Not exactly our finest day in Harris County government history.
I got this yesterday from the Harris County Clerk:
Texas Senate Bill 1750 goes into effect on September 1, abolishing the Election Administrator’s Office and returning election management to the County Clerk and voter registration to the Tax Assessor-Collector’s Office.
The Harris County Clerk’s Office and the Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar will hold a joint news conference to discuss the September 1 transition.
WHO: Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth and Harris County Tax Assessor-Collector & Voter Registrar Ann Harris Bennett
WHAT: September 1st Transition
WHEN: 2-2:30 pm, Friday, September 1, 2023
WHERE: NRG Arena, Hall C
Just get the mail ballots out on time, please.
The campaign is dealing with this. Here is from the Chron:
State Sen. John Whitmire will miss eight upcoming Houston mayoral forums to serve as a juror in Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s impeachment trial, but the absence is unlikely to have a heavy impact on his campaign, a political expert said.
Whitmire will miss all but one forum through Sept. 21. The impeachment trial begins Tuesday, Sept. 5, and will last about three weeks. The mayoral candidate will resume attending forums Sept. 25, when he is also expected to take part in a debate, his communications director Sue Davis said.
“At the margins, it’s not good for him,” Rice University Politics Professor Mark Jones said. “If you’re a candidate, every vote counts. And so you want to do everything possible to maximize the number of votes you receive, and so you also want to attend all the events you can.”
But Whitmire already has a “high voter intention,” voters that would choose him as their candidate in the election and a potential runoff, he said. He also has substantial name-recognition as a longtime state senator, Jones said, so he won’t be using the forums as much to introduce himself to the public as a tool to share his ideas about issues that concern voter.
“These forums are much more important for the less well-known candidates like Robert Gallegos and Gilbert Garcia and Lee Kaplan, M.J. Khan, Jack Christie than they are for the very well known (Sheila) Jackson Lee and Whitmire,” Jones said.
Here is the entire read: Whitmire may miss Houston mayoral forums for Paxton impeachment trial (houstonchronicle.com).
The featured photo includes two members of the Court of Impeachment.
The Daily Beast has this today:
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley called for mental competency tests for lawmakers aged 50 and over after Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) froze up again Wednesday in front of cameras. Speaking to Fox News on Thursday, Haley said that “right now the Senate is the most privileged nursing home in the country.” Although she acknowledged that McConnell, 81, “deserves credit” for his “great” political achievements, she said: “You have to know when to leave… these people are making decisions on our national security. They’re making decisions on our economy, on the border. We need to know they’re at the top of their game. You can’t say that right now looking at Congress.”
This is National Chianti Day. I can’t remember the last time I had chianti.
My Beatles wall calendar for September has a 1963 photo of the four with Paul giving a thumbs up and Ringo doing two thumbs up.
This is from a good story from MLB.com on the AL West race. If you are an Astros fan, I highly recommend you read it. This is how it starts:
There’s still a full month remaining and much can happen or change in the grand postseason picture. But at this rate, it sure looks like the American League West race is going to come down to the very final games of the season.
Entering Thursday, when all three teams were off, the Mariners and Astros were tied for first place, with the Rangers just one game behind, making this — historically — one of the tightest division races this late in the season. Seattle and Houston are also tied for the second AL Wild Card spot, 5 1/2 games back of the Rays, who hold the top spot, while Texas occupies the final playoff seed.
(Technically, Seattle holds a slight edge over Houston with a .571 winning percentage, compared to the Astros’ .570 while having played in two fewer games, but for all intents and purposes, it’s a virtual tie)
That said, this is the first time since the implementation of three divisions in the AL and NL in 1994 that three teams were within one game of first place entering September. Diving deeper, only twice prior since divisions were installed in 1969, when there were two per league, has there been at least three teams within that criteria (1980 NL East and 1969 NL West). (Special hat tip to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs for the research to confirm these figures.)
Making this race even more exciting is that the season’s final 10 days will feature the Mariners facing Texas seven times and Houston thrice, a stretch that will almost certainly impact playoff seeding for all teams.
Here is the entire read: AL West race historically close (mlb.com).
It is going to be an exciting and fun weekend at The Yard.