HOUSTON- Thirty days before every election, every candidate must show his/her hand by way of Campaign Finance Reports. Although the true measure of a candidate or campaign doesn't necessarily reflect the amount of money raised, it's a great indicator of success. Back in July of this year, I said Dwight Boykins might just take take this election without a run-off, but things have changed. The enormity of his $100,000 lead has been reduced to less than $1,000 cash on hand for the remaining days between he and Richards whose running a lean-yet-robust volunteer component. With a potent $39,775 (cash on hand), Assata Richards is running a real campaign. She now stands toe-to-toe with the man everyone assumed would win this thing without real competition--and that competition is the Richards Machine. Just to show how apparent the front-runners are, and how far they've galloped ahead of the competition, take a look at this graph illustrating cash on hand for the dozen candidates in the race to replace Wanda Adams down at City Hall:
Here's a breakdown of all 12 candidates and the amount of cash they have to put into this campaign:
After taking a closer look at everyone's reports, here are a few things that stood out to me about each one:
Anthony Robinson boasts a Houston Chronicle endorsement even though he has a mere $6,000 in the bank leaving him in a distant---very distant third place. Furthermore, he spent money at Wal-Mart for his campaign-- #Fail! I hate Wal-Mart. Of Dwight Boykins' $100,000 spent thus far in the campaign, over $37,000 was spent exclusively on "consulting." Depending on how Boykins' field game plays out, particular race could end up being a nail-biter on November 5th considering the Provost wildcard.
Even though Aunt Georgia has a meager $2,378 in the bank, her name recognition is much higher among older voters who historically play a big role in races like District D and District B. Could the establishment vote be split between Boykins' "establishment" pull and Georgia's deep roots, while Richards paves a new path with grass-roots outreach? Either way it goes, I predict two people are going to a runoff for this seat: Dwight Boykins and Assata Richards. What I found most interesting about Richards' expenditures was how lean she's led her campaign thus far: no hefty consulting expenses, no big dinners, no donations to churches. This will either end up being the reason for her success or demise.