Houston: Nasty, Brutish -- And Effective

Nasty, Brutish -- And Effective

Houston's mayoral race started with a debate over crime and a proposed monorail but ended in the gutter. After voters ousted incumbent Kathy Whitmire in last month's primary, the runoff between developer Bob Lanier, 66, and state legislator Sylvester Turner, 37, turned squalid. Lanier ads portrayed Turner, trying to become the city's first black mayor, as soft on crime and entangled in insurance fraud.

Turner denied the charges, accusing Lanier of "trying to tell Houston that a black man just isn't good enough!" But his delinquent loans and unpaid debts repelled voters. Lanier won the Dec. 7 election with 54% of...

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