Houston’s Mayoral Race Heads to a Runoff

By Allan Jamail

Houston, Texas ~ November 7, 2023 ~ Houston’s City Hall races ended with 7 of the 18 contested positions having to be decided on the election runoff date of Saturday, December 9th, including the mayor’s race.

Senator John Whitmire (age 74) came in first place with 43.06 percent; US Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (age 73) got 34.81 percent, a difference of 20,373 votes or 8.25 percent lead for Whitmire over Jackson Lee.

The Whitmire campaign election watch party event was held at the Marriott Marquis Hotel downtown. The event went off perfect, as coordinator Sue Davis planned. The ballroom was overflowing with supporters of the most diverse group by nationality and age of any election watch party I’ve ever seen in my forty plus years of attending them.

Asians, Blacks, Hispanic and Anglos were equally proportionately mixed at the event. The ages in attendance were mixed from college age up to seniors. In the Houston’s nonpartisan government there were good balances of Republican and Democrat supporters. To entertain the large gathering, music was played by the highly acclaimed five time Grammy award winner David DeLaGarza Band.

Senator Whitmire individually thanked and greeted hundreds of supporters on the floor as he mingled amongst them, most wanted selfie photos with him. When the news came that declared Whitmire finished in first place he went to the stage.

He was introduced by a diverse group, Senator Carol Alvarado, Rep. Garnett Coleman, Dr. Theresa Tran, and Rev. F.N. Williams Sr., a well known Black minister who has known Whitmire since high school.

Senator Whitmire was thankful to all, and his visibly enthusiastic demeanor fired up the crowd with the same enthusiasm who often chanted, “Whitmire for mayor!”

His speech emphasized the need for Houstonians to respect everyone in Houston’s diverse population and the need for them to come together to work on solving problems in their communities that has been neglected. He plans to prioritize safer and healthier neighborhoods, working to rid them of crime and unhealthy public nuisances.

The Senator said, “I believe in the power of prayer. Throughout these months of campaigning, I was told many times by well-wishers they were praying for me. Prayers work, negative campaigning does not.”

As the saying goes, when a person starts throwing mud, it’s a sure sign they’re losing ground.

Writer Allan Jamail said, “I’ve known John for fifty years, as we both were elected public servants in 1973. He was elected to the Texas House, and I was elected as a councilman of Jacinto City. Through the fifty years, we’ve grown to know each other and develop a trusting relationship.”

“Whitmire’s a no nonsense public servant. He literally takes the words ‘public servant’ to heart. I don’t know of any other elected official who’s as relentless and more determined to help anyone regardless of the person’s standing of importance in relation to others within our society.”

“As a former mayor and labor leader, I’ve watched John maneuver legislation through the house and senate that greatly benefited blue collar working men and women of my city. That’s one reason he’s gotten the endorsement of the largest amount of organized labor unions in this election. As a former Chief of Police, I can say he got many bills passed which was helpful in fighting crime and protecting both the communities and law enforcement officers. He gets things done and doesn’t run to the nearest camera or microphone to brag about them.”

“I’ve worked with Whitmire’s staff on important issues and they’ve performed with the same sincerity and dedication to the public as he does. Most importantly they respect him and want their work with the public to reflect the same high standards he sets for himself.”

“I’ve known Sheila Jackson Lee for about 20 years, she’s a hard working demanding individual who can sometimes go to the brink of being overbearing to others. Sometimes she expects more from others than they’re capable of doing, but she gets results and it goes without question she’s helped many in dire need,” Jamail said.

Houston voters overwhelmingly approved both A & B propositions. According to unofficial results posted by the Secretary of State’s Office, Texas voters approved all but one of the 14 constitutional amendments on the ballot. (#13 failed.) For complete election results visit: harrisvotes.com