Okey dokey, I keep getting this question asked of me about Cortney Niland and her rumored mayoral bid so I'll go ahead a write a bit about it.
Yes lots of people have heard that she may run for mayor and you get two versions of it - she's dead set on doing it whether the money guys like it or not, or she will only do it if she can manage to still keep her seat.
The talk of her mayoral bid has become so loud that a lot of people are starting to look at who is going to replace her on council if she does.
So here's the deal with the whole resign to run thing. Her announcement, if it happens at all, will likely not come until it is too late to order a special election to replace her. Essentially what COULD (not saying it will) happen is that Niland can wait until the last possible minute, there won't be enough time to order a special election, and it will just go on the November ballot a little less than a year from now.
She would absolutely have to resign to run because of the length of time still left in her term. BUT because of the Texas Hold-over Clause, she would remain the city rep until there was an election to replace her...in November.
Smart move on her part because it guarantees that she will still be on council after the mayoral election.
Funny thing is you would have three sitting members of council running for mayor at the same time. All three would have more name ID than all the also rans.
If you throw Niland in the mix and think objectively, you would basically have three tiers of candidates vying for the office. This is what those tiers look like to me right now, 1 being the most likely to win, two having a shot at a run-off and three, not gonna happen:
Tier 1 -
Emma Acosta. End of tier. This is probably the hardest tier to be in because when you're the favorite everyone is gunning for you and the race is yours to lose. Am I saying that she is not vulnerable? Hell no, she's extremely vulnerable for a lot of reasons, votes, she'd be weak on the westside (although with a lot of westside-pleasing candidates on the ballot that particular point will be minimized), and because of Dora Oaxaca. She's gonna have a hard time raising money too. But she is the only woman in a field of men, she has name ID, and she can appeal to parts of town that others can't. The real question for a lot of people that are in the know, not the electorate, is do you really want Dora Oaxaca in the mayor's office?
Tier 2 -
Dee Margo. Yes, he's Darth Freakin Vader of local politics. But he has a larger base of support than anyone else running because his former lege district is bigger. He will have the lion's share of the rich white people money and Forma is going to pour everything they've got in to the guy. Its hard to see how their mail program won't be 100% geared to all of Acosta's many bad positions. Frankly it wouldn't shock me to see her little stunt to make the city less transparent in a piece of mail. Again, she can thank Dora Oaxaca for that one. Margo would like it a whole lot better if Niland's name wasn't even being mentioned at all because he needs to consolidate that westside base in order for him to be a real threat to win. With Niland in the race, he stays bogged down in Tier 2 status.
David Saucedo. I toyed with the idea of putting him last of the three candidates in Tier 2 because he doesn't have a base of support and essentially has to try to rely on getting noticed. But I remembered that he has part of the team that almost (BUT DIDN'T) beat Niland in her re-election bid. What he won't have in this election that was the major reason Niland almost lost to Dagda (Sorry field guy) is a big push from fire fighters. But a field presence beats no field presence and coupled with the fact that Niland will be splitting her westside base with Margo, Saucedo gets the second slot in Tier 2. Also because he's Latino. He needs a lot of help to make a run-off. If he sneaks in a run-off with Margo, it will be an interesting match up of Republican versus Republican in a Democratic city.
Cortney Niland. Left for politically dead after narrowly defeating a weak candidate with no money, Niland has slowly crawled (with the help of a really weak field of candidates) her way back from No Way in Hell to Well Almost Anything Is Possible When Emma Acosta is a Front Runner. There are a lot of questions for Niland and frankly if you held my feet to the fire, I'd probably confess that of the current field of candidates, I think she'd likely do the best job as mayor. Again, of the current field of candidates. Where's she gonna get the money? Will she self-finance or will she peel away some of the money guys? Who is going to run her campaign? Forma already has a date to the dance. Will she actually run a field program this time? She didn't last time and she almost lost. But you have to give her this, she's the most resilient of the field and you may see the ol' Honey Badger live up to her name again.
But not likely.
Tier 3 -
Carl Robinson. He has the highest name ID of all the other candidates that don't have a chance in hell of winning.
Willie Cager. Nice guy. El Paso treasure. But no base and I don't think he has the health and money to effectively wage even a feeble attempt at the office.
Ghosan Gus Haddad. Maybe some people will think he's Gus Haddad.
Jorge Artalejo. Until someone else runs, he has my vote. So that's two...
Anna Romero Zaidle. Never heard of her. No money, name ID, or base. At least Artalejo has been on a ballot before.
Charles Stapler. Wrong time, wrong race.