Houston has elected someone to succeed Bill White to succeed as its next Mayor. They just need to count the votes to learn which Democrat will serve next as mayor.
Houston Mayoral Run-Off:
100% of Precincts Reporting
Annise Parker: 81,958 (52.8%)
Gene Locke: 73,257 (47.2%)
If you want the absolute most up-to-the-minute results along with 140-character commentary from all sorts of Houston people, follow the hashtag #HouMayor.
Final Update 10:18 PM: With 100% of precincts reporting, Mayor-Elect Annise Parker wins, with 52.8% of the vote. Campaigning on her experience and qualification for the job, Parker wins, and in the process makes history. – Katherine
Update 10:13 PM: As Gene Locke concedes, it's clear that Controller Annise Parker will be the next Mayor of Houston, the 4th-largest city in America. Parker, Houston, and Texas all make history. It's a proud day for the Space City, and a proud day for all Texans. Congratulations, Mayor-elect Parker! – Katherine
Update 10:01 PM: The Houston Chronicle calls it for Annise Parker. Houston becomes the largest American city to elect an openly gay mayor. Here in Austin, the 10:00 PM news on KVUE is also reporting that Parker has won. – Katherine
Update 9:53 PM: MSNBC was the first to call it for Annise Parker, back with 68% reporting. Now with 89% reporting, Parker holds a 52.7%-47.3% lead over Locke. – Katherine
Update 9:42 PM: Annise Parker is pulling away. Now with 68% of Election Day precincts reporting, 7,250 raw votes separate Parker from Locke; Parker now has 52.7%. Looks like Houston will become the largest American city to elect an openly gay Mayor. A big step forward for equality in the making. Texans should be proud to see it happen in our state's largest city. – Katherine
Update 9:35 PM: In other races, At-Large Pos. 1 remains close, with less than 2000 votes between Costello and Derr. In At-Large Pos. 2, Lovell has a healthy ~8,000 vote lead over Burks. in At-Large Pos. 5, Jones is up by almost 6,000 over Christie. And in the Houston ISD Trustee #1 run-off, only 102 votes separate Anna Eastman from Alma Lara. Either way, that last race will see a victor with a four-letter name beginning and ending with the letter “a.” – Katherine
Update 9:23 PM: With 54% of Election Day precincts reporting, Annise Parker's lead grows to 4,745 raw votes, back up to 52%. With each update, Parker's lead grows. Also, for folks hitting F5 at home, there's a discrepancy in numbers between the Chron.com and KHOU websites — seems to be that KHOU is including Fort Bend numbers? – Katherine
Update 9:09 PM: Updates coming in fast and furious from Houston. This can only be due to the resignation of famed illegal voter-purger, former Tax Assessor-Collector Paul Betancourt. With 45% of precincts reporting, Parker increases raw vote lead to 3,869 votes over Locke; 51.7%-48.3%. Both the Houston Chronicle and KHOU are going a great job of updating their online tallies. – Katherine
Update 9:03 PM: With 34% reporting, Annise Parker increases lead to 3,012 raw votes, but percentage drops to 51%-49%. Going to the wire. – Katherine
Update 8:49 PM: With 21% reporting, Annise Parker increases her lead to 2,830 raw votes; 52%-48%. – Katherine
Update 8:39 PM: As a note, the city council races I have mentioned so far are at-large races. There is also a runoff for a couple district seats, including Houston's District A, where Republican Brenda Stardig starts of with a lead over Democrat Lane Lewis in what has been a closely fought battle.
Update 8:33 PM: The first batch of votes have been counted. With about 13% of Houston's precincts in, Annise Parker has extended her still-small lead a little bit, now leading by 1,896 votes. Ronald Green and M.J. Khan pulled about even with those votes, leaving the Controller race about the same. Stephen Costello, though, has pulled to a slight lead over Ms. Derr for City Council, but that race is about as neck-and-neck as you can get. Also, incumbent Democratic City Council Members Jolanda Jones and Sue Lovell have started with leads in their respective runoffs.
Update 8:05 PM: There are a couple other things of note in the other city races. The race for City Controller, Houston's second highest office, is between Democrat Ronald Green and Republican M.J. Khan. Green has a respectable, well over 3,000 votes.
There also happens to be one race that is closer than the mayor's race, at least at the start. With absentee and early voting, Karen Derr is leading Stephen Costello by only 255 votes for City Council's Place 1. Derr is an active Democrat, and Costello has no official affiliation. Costello has helped out Republican causes in the past, but he has Democrats working his campaign and he is an engineer, giving him a message of unique and useful experience that has probably appealed to many Houston voters.
Original Posting: The Burnt Orange Report unanimously endorsed Annise Parker for Mayor, but a few of us might now be worried: this election is pretty darn close. After absentee and early votes from both Harris and Fort Bend counties, it is a statistical tie.
And a difference of just 523 votes. Interestingly, Gene Locke received over 90% of the vote in the Houston part of Fort Bend County, but very little of the vote comes from Fort Bend. The race is still pretty close in Harris County.