curry for council
Ken Hoffman polls a former TV meteorologist running for City Council to help Houston weather big storms
It’s become a thing, celebrities from television and movies running for political office.
Let’s see, Jerry Springer, who passed away last week, bounced from being a city council member in Cincinnati to mayor of the Queen City to TV news anchor and eventually host of the wildly successful, bonkers, and potentially harmful, some say Jerry Springer Show. More on Springer later.
Former President Donald Trump was bigly into real estate in New York but the bulk of his national prominence came from hosting The Apprentice. Former President Ronald Reagan was a movie star before becoming governor of California. Arnold Schwarzenegger took the same route to the California governor’s mansion. Voters made Clint Eastwood’s day when they elected him mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California.
Sonny Bono went from being the butt of short jokes on the Sonny and Cher Show to mayor of Palm Springs.
The most amazing example of show business as a stepping stone to politics is Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the current wartime president of Ukraine. Before assuming leadership of his country, Zelenskyy starred in a sitcom, was a standup comic and contestant on Dancing with the Stars.
Sometimes being a celebrity isn’t enough to achieve political success, though.
Dr. Mehmet Oz was a TV talk host, then ran for the U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania. He lost.
Al Franken was a cast member on Saturday Night Live and became a U.S. senator from Minnesota. He later resigned over accusations of sexual misconduct. Cynthia Nixon from Sex in the City ran for governor of New York and didn’t come close. She lost to Andrew Cuomo, who’s a whole other story.
It does sort of look like movies and television have become to politics what college football is to the NFL.
Now, we have a former local TV weather forecaster hoping to become a Houston city councilmember.
Casey up to bat
Local TV personalityCasey Curry predicted the weather on Channel 13 from 2006 to 2017. After leaving Channel 13, she popped up on Channel 2 and Channel 26 for short stints. Since then she’s worked in the private sector running a company’s philanthropic efforts. She’s also raising daughter Winnie with her husband Carl.
Curry is running for the At-Large Position 1 on city council, meaning voters who live anywhere in Houston can vote for those candidates. There are five At-Large positions and 11 district positions that represent specific areas of Houston.
Members are elected to four-year terms. Council elections are non-partisan. Candidates don’t have an “R” or a “D” next to their name on the ballot. The position pays $60,000 a year. Election Day is November 7.
Curry’s top priority plays into her background as a TV meteorologist. She wants to help Houston better deal with weather emergencies. The city has been through it all in recent years: hurricanes, floods, searing heat, and the Big Freeze.
“As a meteorologist I understand this issue. I understand flooding. I understand storms. I have a different perspective on this subject,” Curry says.
“I don’t think we’ve done a great job of spending the money that’s been allocated to us. I understand that we still have money left over from Hurricane Ike in 2008 that we haven’t spent. So we have to do a better job with the money that is available to us after a big storm.”
Taking care of Jerry
I always was a Jerry Springer fan. My only complaint about the show was his “floor managers/bouncers” broke up the guests’ fights too early.
In fact, I dedicated my book to Jerry Springer – it’s right there on Page 2. Yes, I wrote a book. You can still buy it on Amazon. But, if you pay more than 50 cents, you’re getting robbed. (Editor's note: Thank goodness for Jeff Bezos' return policy.)
Our columnist dedicated this book to Jerry Springer.Photo via Amazon
In 2020, near the start of the global pandemic, I was watching NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, and the anchor ended the show with his new catchphrase:
“Please take care of yourself … and each other.
Holt is still using the sign-off. That’s practically word for word Jerry Springer’s catchphrase, one that Springer used for more than four decades. After the mayhem of each show, Springer would turn to the camera, say something affirmative and end with “Take care of yourself … and each other.”
I called Springer to squeal on the NBC News anchor and get a comment: “Are you aware that …?”
His response, dignified as always, was “I anchored the evening news in Cincinnati for 10 years before I started the talk show. It was the early ‘80s, the ‘Me Generation,’ and everyone was saying ‘take care of yourself.’ I thought it wouldn’t hurt if we also cared and helped take care of each other. So I decided to end each of my newscasts with that line.
“When the talk show started I just continued to use those words because after observing for an hour what happens when people aren’t caring about each other, I thought the sentiment was the perfect antidote to the circus we just witnessed.
“I knew Lester in Chicago. He interviewed me there. He’s so classy and so smart, I’m not at all surprised he shares the same sentiment. His heart shows. It doesn’t matter how he decided to use that sign-off. The times certainly warrant it.”