Former city attorney Benjamin Hall announces campaign for mayor

Mayor Annise Parker says she expects several opponents

HOUSTON - The battle for Houston's top job is underway as Mayor Annise Parker gains some official competition.

Prominent attorney Benjamin L. Hall III announced his candidacy on Wednesday.

"This is not about me. This is not about Ms. Parker. This is about the future of this city," said Hall.

The former city attorney is the first major candidate to announce that he will take on the incumbent mayor in the upcoming election.

"I'm not concerned about running against someone. I'm more interested in giving the voters a choice and the choice is: Do we need two more years of mere management or is it time for us to also envision a future that is greater and better than our present ?" said Hall.

Parker said she expects to have several opponents and won't focus just on Hall.

"I'm going to be running with the wind on my back and feel good about what's going to happen this year," said Parker.

The mayor has projected optimism, saying she feels very good about her chances for re-election.

"I think it's going to find traction on an issue. We have the hottest economy in the United States. Houston is on the best of every list that's published," said Parker.

Both candidates on Wednesday received early endorsements from leading law enforcement groups. Parker accepted a check from the Houston Police Officers' Union. Meanwhile, Hall was endorsed by the African American Police Officers league.

"At this point, the voters should be given a choice about electing a different future with strong leadership," said Hall.

The election for mayor and City Council seats will be in November.

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