John Whitmire emerges victorious in highly-anticipated Houston mayoral election.

John Whitmire emerges victorious in highly-anticipated Houston mayoral election.

According to the Associated Press, Democratic State Senator John Whitmire emerged victorious in the highly anticipated mayoral race in Houston on Saturday evening, defeating Democratic U.S. Representative Sheila Jackson Lee.

As of Saturday night, Whitmire was comfortably ahead with a commanding lead of 65.27% compared to 34.73%.

candidate Sylvester Turner appeared on social media

As the mayoral runoff election in Houston entered its last week, a campaign advertisement for candidate Sylvester Turner was shared on social media.Jackson Lee

The citizens of the city were encouraged to cast their votes by December 7th. However, there was a complication: the runoff election was scheduled for Saturday and early voting closed on December 5th.

According to Houston Public Media, the show premiered on Saturday and aired on the ABC, CBS, and NBC stations in the area. However, it was produced by an external advertising agency and not the campaign itself.

The inaccurate advertisement and lack of awareness about the election date appeared to encompass all that has transpired in the mayoral race in the fourth-largest city in America. The race is currently struggling towards a low voter turnout, making it the final major election of 2023.

2 candidates for the Texas state Senate.

On Saturday evening, veteran Congressman Jackson Lee was behind in polls compared to Whitmire, a candidate with over 50 years of experience in public service. These two were the leading contenders for the Texas state Senate.

The top two candidates in the November 7th general election.

There were a total of 17 candidates listed on the ballot, including one write-in candidate. In the election held on November 7, 74-year-old Whitmire received 43% of the vote, while 73-year-old Jackson Lee received 36%. According to The Associated Press, approximately 21% of Houston’s 1.2 million registered voters participated in the election. The current mayor, Sylvester Turner, is unable to run for another term due to term limits.

Election 2023 Houston Mayor

In this picture mash-up, American Representative Shelia Jackson Lee is shown on the left and Democratic State Senator John Whitmire is on the right.


According to Brandon Rottinghaus, a political science professor at the University of Houston, the current race has been uneventful. Previous mayoral races have been more divisive and dramatic, but this one has failed to capture the interest of voters.

Since the November election, there has been little change in the numbers. According to a poll conducted by SurveyUSA Research for the University of Houston in mid-November, Whitmire was ahead of Jackson Lee with 42% to 35%.

Although the race was deemed nonpartisan, both Whitmire and Jackson Lee are affiliated with the Democratic party. Jackson Lee received significant endorsements from prominent figures such as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo. However, as Rottinghaus noted, these high-profile endorsements did not have a significant impact on the outcome of the race.

Meanwhile, Whitmire proudly announced the backing of prominent community figures such as Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, Jack Christie, a former Houston City Councilman who ran as a Republican in the initial round, and Tilman Fertitta, a major donor to the Republican party.

Becoming the mayor of Houston requires winning the support of a diverse group of voters, as it is known as the most diverse major city in America.

In 2015, Turner won by a slim margin against a conservative businessman, largely due to the support of Black voters and effective get-out-the-vote campaigns, as reported by the Houston Chronicle. According to Rottinghaus, Jackson Lee, who could potentially become the first Black female mayor of the city, has not been able to rally Black voters in the same manner. Rottinghaus noted a significant decrease in voting numbers in precincts with a high concentration of Black voters.

Whitmire highlighted his affiliation with the Democratic party, but he also sought support from Republicans and had significant backing from GOP donors. According to a poll conducted by the University of Houston, he had a strong lead of 56 points among Republicans. Although Houston tends to favor Democratic candidates, it is not as heavily Democratic as other major cities in the U.S., making the Republican vote potentially influential in the election. Additionally, Republicans hold full control over the state government, with a Republican governor and majorities in both the Legislature and state Senate.

Whitmire, a White candidate, has actively sought support from Latino voters. According to a poll from the University of Houston, he holds a significant 20-point lead among Latino voters, who make up about 45% of the city’s residents.

According to Rottinghaus, the average age of Houstonian voters is 62, despite the city being relatively new. The primary concern for the local community has been crime, and during the last debate on Monday, both candidates pledged to retain Police Chief Troy Finner.

The competition between the two candidates was so tight on various issues that it resulted in heated debates.

Two weeks prior to the national election, a recording was released in which Jackson Lee was heard using offensive language towards a staff member.

She acknowledged that she is not flawless in a statement she made in reply.

According to Rottinghaus, a survey was conducted in November which included a question regarding leaked audio. While the majority of respondents believed it had no impact, a significant portion of younger individuals, particularly women, stated that it did influence their opinions. This demographic was crucial for Jackson Lee’s victory.

Along with the audio that was released, Jackson Lee faced a runoff election with a significant amount of negative opinions. According to a poll conducted by the Hobby School at the University of Houston in October, 43% of participants stated that they would never vote for her, while only 15% said the same for Whitmire. The poll also showed that 41% of people had a “very unfavorable” opinion of Jackson Lee, while 28% had a “very favorable” view. In comparison, only 13% reported a “very unfavorable” view of Whitmire, while 27% had a “very favorable” view.

Whitmire has faced accusations of conflict of interest during his time as a state senator. The Houston Chronicle reports that he has been criticized for blurring the boundaries between his public and private responsibilities. Whitmire argues that since the Legislature is only a part-time job with a low salary of $7,200 per year, it is impossible to completely avoid conflicts of interest.

During the recent debate, Whitmire stated that the main contrast between their mayoral roles is that as mayor, they will be able to devote all their time and energy to the position without the distraction of a law practice. They also mentioned that they do not feel the need to address certain criticisms from the Chronicle, as they pertain to their legal work. They clarified that these allegations were mostly brought up during past campaigns and that senators only make $600 per month, thus requiring them to have other jobs to support themselves.

State audits have been scheduled for Harris County, which encompasses Houston, in 2022 and 2023 to review voting procedures. Republican Governor Greg Abbott recently enacted a law that replaces the Harris County elections administrator and assigns the task to different local officials. This is the inaugural election using the revised system.