So, I just finished watching the Harris County District Attorney candidates debate, and I had a few thoughts.
First off, with the possible exception of the Sheriff's race, this is the most important local race on the ballot in November for Harris County. For some reason, it aired between 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. and no news network carried it -- not even Channel 2, whose own Khambrel Marshall was the moderator. It kind of reminded me of the ending of Rocky 3, when Rocky and Apollo had a private fight that only they knew the outcome of.
I had to watch the debate via Kim Ogg's website. Not that I'm supporting Kim, but she appeared to be the only game in town if you wanted to watch the debate online. Dave Jennings over at Big Jolly Politics made his long-awaited return to blogging to point out that perhaps Devon didn't exactly want to maximize coverage of the debate. I'm not sure that I entirely disagree with him. Given the current news cycle, I actually think that it took a lot of guts to agree to a debate at the moment.
All in all, there were virtually no surprises in the debate, other than the fact that the audience was surprisingly unruly. Both sides clearly had their supporters who seemed to be trying to outdo each other with their applause. Disappointingly, some of Ogg's supporters began talking over Devon and yelling out things, which was extremely annoying.
Devon touted her new diversionary programs such as those for cases involving small amounts of marijuana, and prostitution. Kim attacked systemic problems in the criminal justice system and the need to change. I missed the closing statements due to a phone call and an overactive two-year-old, but I understand that Devon brought up some character issues with Kim.
As I've said before, Kim is a formidable candidate with some good ideas, but she diminishes them with her pandering and politicking. Devon called her out on her politicking and she was right to do so. If Kim would stick to her principles instead of manipulating statistics, it would make her a much more appealing candidate to me.
In the end, I doubt that the debate changed anybody's mind about the candidate they were supporting in the first place -- and I doubt that anybody who was undecided was actually watching it.