Rice experts available to discuss Nov. 7 election topics

Stock art of individual voting.

As early voting kicks off in Texas this week, Rice University experts are available to discuss the Nov. 7 election.

Photo of person voting.
Photo credit: 123rf.com

Mark Jones, a professor of political science,fellow at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy and Texas political expert, is available to discuss the Houston mayoral, controller and city council races as well as the statewide, city and county propositions.

Robert Stein, the Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science and fellow at the Baker Institute, is an urban politics, voting and elections expert. He can discuss the city of Houston elections and state constitutional amendments. He can also talk about election laws and their impact on voting, specifically focusing on new election laws in Texas and other states.

Melissa Marschall , a professor of political science, is an expert on urban politics, educational policy, political behavior and representation. She can discuss local elections, turnout, low propensity voters and voting restrictions.

“The marquee race in Houston, and arguably in Texas as well, is the Houston mayoral race, where the winner will govern the city for the next four years,” Jones said. “State Sen. John Whitmire and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee are well on track to finish first and second, but below the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.”

In a runoff, Jones said Whitmire would be the heavy favorite due to Jackson Lee’s high unfavorable rating compared to his low unfavorable rating.

“Houston is the only major Texas city with a strong mayor form of government, with the Houston mayor exercising de facto control over most aspects of public policy in the state’s most populous city,” Jones said.

Daniel Potter, senior director of research at Rice’s Kinder Institute for Urban Research, is available to discuss the Kinder Institute’s recently released report, “Election 2023: Priorities and Concerns of Houston Residents.” The report identifies the city of Houston’s current challenges and opportunities and what issues residents would like to see the next mayor address.

To schedule an interview with Jones, contact him directly at 832-466-6535.

To schedule an interview with Stein, Marshall or Potter, contact Amy McCaig, senior media relations specialist, at 713-348-6777 or amym@rice.edu.