While current governor Rick Perry may have plenty of experience in Texas politics, former Houston mayor Bill White has decades of experience in actual leadership. Perry has been an excellent PR rep for Texas for the past few years, mostly because his role as governor required very little. For many of the challenges that face our state in the coming years, Texans need more.
Although the rough economy has not affected Texas as dramatically as many other parts of the country, the state is expected to face an enormous budget shortfall projected between $11 billion and $17 billion, according to the Texas Tribune. Good looks alone will not be able to rescue us from this mounting debt. We need a leader with good business sense. If his fiscal success in Houston is any indication, White may be the best man to handle the looming budget pitfall. White, a former business executive who holds a degree in economics from Harvard, was praised in the Houston Chronicle for how he “deftly steered Houston through both fiscal and tropical storms.”
Along with a resume filled with strong credentials in business and economics, White also has shown that he has incredible capacity as a leader. White was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profiles in Courage award after he mobilized over 100,000 stranded victims of Hurricane Katrina in Houston in the aftermath of the storm. White has also been a prominent leader in education, not a strong suit of Gov. Perry, by co-founding Expectation Graduation which hopes to reduce drop-out rates among high-schoolers. White’s wife, Andrea, who worked alongside him to found Expectation Graduation, also began a nationally-recognized foundation to improve public schools.
Few leaders have enjoyed the popularity White gained while mayor of Houston. After bringing crime rates to the lowest seen in more than 25 years, while making the city a national leader in job growth, the citizens of Houston elected White to two terms. White has shown he is a dynamic and respected leader who can be counted on in times of crisis. Bill White is more than just a career politician, he is a leader. And the kind of leadership that White has exhibited in business, governing and in times of crisis reveals that he is the right man for the job.