By Joshua Fechter, The Texas Tribune
“Houston voters could select a new mayor as U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and state Sen. John Whitmire lead crowded field” was first published by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.
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Houston voters today could decide their next mayor.
The race to succeed Mayor Sylvester Turner — who has reached his term limits — features a crowded field. But it has centered on U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and state Sen. John Whitmire, both longtime Houston Democratic heavyweights.
The race has often focused on issues like Houston’s crime rate, the city’s looming budget crisis and trash pickup. But it’s also boiled down to a personality contest between the two veteran lawmakers.
Whitmire entered the race as the immediate frontrunner, bolstered by a massive war chest and a bipartisan coalition, while also defending his Democratic credentials. Jackson Lee sought to bite into Whitmire’s Democratic support by trying to tie him to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott and former President Donald Trump in television ads and roping in endorsements from big-name Democrats like Nancy Pelosi and Hillary Clinton.
Jackson Lee has faced major headwinds. Her fundraising was no match for Whitmire’s financial stockpile. Before early voting began, an audio recording of Jackson Lee berating a staffer in an expletive-filled rant leaked to the public. Jackson Lee later expressed remorse about the behavior in the recording.
There are some other well-known local names vying for the position. They include Gilbert Garcia, the former chair of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County; Robert Gallegos, a current City Council member; and Jack Christie, a former council member who once chaired the State Board of Education.
This article originally appeared in The Texas Tribune at https://www.texastribune.org/2023/11/07/houston-mayor-race-2024-results/.
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