STAFF EDITORIAL: Parker has what it takes to become Houston’s mayor

Early voting for the Dec. 12 runoff election began Monday, leaving voters with only two weeks to make up their minds between mayoral candidates Annise Parker and Gene Locke.

The Daily Cougar editorial board, however, has already made its choice.

We formally endorse Parker for mayor.

Parker has several years of experience as an official at City Hall. She is nearing the end of her third two-year term as city controller. Before that, she spent three two-year terms as a city councilwoman.

Locke, a UH alumnus, was a city attorney for three years under mayor Bob Lanier. However, Locke was appointed to his position, whereas Parker has won six citywide elections.

Parker’s experience as city controller gives her the upper hand over Locke when it comes to knowing how to effectively manage the city’s finances. That skill will come in handy as Houston and the rest of the nation continue to battle a tough recession.

‘ Parker also appears to have a more viable plan for fixing the problems with the city’s police department, which has been wracked by scandals over DNA testing in its crime lab. Her plan is simple: shake up the leadership of the Houston Police Department and find more effective ways to police the streets.

This would mean removing Police Chief Harold Hurtt, whom Parker has called ineffective. Parker has publicly said that she would replace Hurtt if elected, so this contest will decide more than just who becomes the next mayor.

Locke, however, has said that he would try to find more money for the police department. He wants to put more officers on the street and have others work more overtime.

Parker and Locke are both worthy candidates; either would make a fine mayor.

However, Houston needs a candidate with the ability to lead it through the remainder of the recession.’

So far, Parker has shown the most promise on that end.

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