HISD Board President Wanda Adams trounced her opponents with a commanding 68.42% of the vote in a three-way race with political newcomers Dr. Karla Brown and Gerry Monroe.
First, we must commend Brown and Monroe for doing more than complaining from the sidelines, they threw their names on the ballot as a candidate in a race that they both cared about. Much respect to both of them.
Now back to the story: Wanda tapped that @$$ on Tuesday evening essentially doing the electric slide past both her opponents to avoid a runoff in what was forming up to be an interesting race.
From the start, Wanda Adams had the biggest, most-powerful weapon any candidate in an election might want: NAME RECOGNITION. Adams easily won races in virtually the same geographic area for ten years during her time as Houston City Councilmember for District D, then running for her first term on HISD's board. Name recognition is very valuable. Most candidates who die during an election with name recognition end up still winning posthumously like Mario Gallegos and El Franco Lee. I could go on.
Fundraising totals and a lack of endorsements seemed to signal a deflated campaign until the very end of the campaign. Adams' fundraising documents showed a dismal $400 or so in the bank, and virtually nothing coming in. Add to this establishment endorsers lining up behind Dr. Karla Brown like State Representative Dr. Alma Allen and City Councilmembers Dwight Boykins and Larry Green, and Wanda Adams appeared to be more vulnerable than she was.
Early in the race both her opponents showed themselves to be formidable opponents. Brown had an impressive grassroots ground game pushing campaign literature that painted her viable. Monroe's out-of-the-box antics gave the appearance of building momentum. Adams seemed to be in danger until the last filing date when over $20,000 instantly appeared from a few heavy-pocketed donors. Roughly eleven of them came to her rescue at the eleventh hour with all donations showing up on the exact same day: the day before the filing deadline.
Before we knew it, Adams' campaign had finally showed itself to be what we thought it should've been. Glossy literature filled mailboxes within the district. Endorsements started filling in from heavyweights in the community. The game had changed.
The campaign that once appeared to be a donkey was now a show horse. A clydesdale trotting toward the finish line.
Adams will once again be sworn in at the Hattie Mae White Administration Building in January, but next year she won't be President since the board rotates this position. I think Trustee Davilla is up next. This actually works in her favor. Who would want to be President of the board when state takeover becomes a looming reality?
Worthing, Wheatley, and Kashmere High Schools are in the midst of triage in a hail Mary attempt to skirt another "Improvement Required" designation. If not, a recent state law means the schools will close or the state will take over the entire school district.
The heat is on and the clock is ticking.
Adams may have just won a seat that won't exist next year.