Houston Election Results Thread

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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.

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11 Comments

  1. I predicted 55%
    I didn't vote for her but nonetheless expected her to win by around 55%. The weather may have contributed to the low turn-out although low turn-out seems to be a given in Houston.  The bottom line is Gene Locke's advisors, and probably former friends at this point, steered him the wrong way with regard to Steven Hotze which he realized which is why he basically disengaged weeks ago.  

    Annise Parker ran a dirty campaign, aided and abetted by the media, and some really didn't like being told they were homophobes if they voted for Gene Locke. Quite a few gays and lesbians are homophobes apparently.  It wasn't a matter of not wanting a lesbian as mayor but simply a matter of not wanting Annise Parker as mayor.

    As for Ned Holmes who provided the final firebomb that the media tossed at Gene Locke it will be interesting to see how long it takes Annise Parker to make a beeline to his house for a “Second Chance” fundraiser. A tradition started by Bill White.

    The real winner last night was Jolanda Jones who won despite the effort of Sue Lovell to defeat her.  

    There's something wrong with a Democratic candidate openly endorsing the Republican challenger of another Democratic candidate.  

    Texas politics is certainly interesting if nothing else.  

  2. great run for Locke
    there were a handful of folks saying this race was over and locke didn't have a chance.

    locke gave parker all she wanted and more. it was a great case study in how to bring a candidate from way out to contention.

    not much has been said of parker's outreach/field, but it must have been substantial to overcome those subpar tv ads.

    congrats mayor parker. great race.

    • At least he got back out in his own community…
      The campaign ended, really, before it began.  Any way you cut it, Steven Hotze cost him the election.

      But he did get out in the community. His own community. Which in great part really didn't know him. You'll probably see more of him as a result. Just not as a politician. So in that sense, everyone won something.

      As for the $64,000 Annise Parker wasted on Roy Morales, it would be interesting to know how many of his supporters voted for her. Probably none. The money would have been better spent being given to a community organization.

      A lot of the money would be better spent being given to community organizations.  Bloomberg spent over $100 million to win a third term as mayor of New York. That $100 million would have done a lot more good being used to help the poor than any mayor possibly could. Instead it was used to feed an ego instead of thousands of New Yorkers.  

  3. Agree and disagree…
    Like him or not, and I don't and have been outspoken about him and his family from day one, Steven Hotze nonetheless represents the views of tens of thousands of conservative voters with conservative views on everything.  Not just gay rights. He's not really for womens rights. Or civil rights.  The latter disturbed quite a few in the African-American community.

    Gene Locke perhaps thought those votes would be important, as have others and as others did, in terms of winning an election. The problem is what he didn't realize, and his advisors didn't realize, was that those same voters who wouldn't vote for a lesbian also wouldn't vote for an African-American.  And didn't. In fact the demographics will probably be indicative of that. Of the 16.5% who turned out to vote, few were probably Republican.  Quite a few cut off their noses to spite their faces in this. The Republicans most of all.  Some of it was Gene Locke. Some of it was perceived advantage to having a liberal lesbian to run a Republican against in 2011.  Harris County is red. Houston is blue. And Republicans just don't play well in Houston and probably never will.  But they believe they will.  

    Would it have mattered had Gene Locke disassociated himself? Probably not.  And he may have known at the point he considered it that Ned Holmes and Jim Dannenbaum had funded Steven Hotze's organization.  Which was the point he disengaged. That probably did more damage than anything particularly in the African-American community that is going to place their own civil rights above anyone else's.

    As for Ned Holmes it will be interesting to see if Annise Parker walks her own talk and cuts off the kingmaker.

    Most expect to see her at some point in the “gameroom” admiring all the wild animals he's bagged through the years staring down at her while schmoozing with all the Republicans.  And collecting the checks. Ned Holmes loves his hunting. And his favorite prey is politicians. Of course he just buys them instead of shoots them. But they still end up on the walls.

  4. I think you miss the mark in your analysis
    (Even though I thoroughly enjoyed the word pictures of your closing paragraph.)

    Run-offs are like primaries; only the most energized turn out. What Republican is going to get energized about casting a vote for a Democrat, irregardless of skin color or sexual orientation, particularly when it's not a vote FOR one candidate as much as it is a vote AGAINST another?

    Do you mean to say had the candidate been a Republican Colin Powell red Houston wouldn't have turned out? I can't imagine that.

    This was always going to be a turn-out-the-Democrats run-off, and Locke threw a wet blanket on that effort through his pandering (née, selling out) to the bigoted Republican sub-culture represented by Hotze and his holy rollers.

  5. Colin Powell?
    I don't think Colin Powell would win a Republican primary in Harris County. His challenger would. Unless the challenger was also African-American. Quite a few Republicans just wouldn't vote.  It's called racism. Something Ned Holmes and Jim Dannenbaum obviously thought would be put aside. After all, they were supporting him. Everyone should fall in line. They didn't fall in line with Orlando Sanchez either. Which is how Bill White won. Although Bill White got some Republican votes. Because of the Bush connection. Who had endorsed Orlando Sanchez in a previous race. But not this one.  They didn't endorse him because of Issam Fares. And because of Issam Fares many Republicans looked at Bill White as a “FOB.” Friend of the Bushes. Could get you elected six years ago. Might get you defeated six years later.  Kay Bailey Hutchison has so far steered clear. Even though she was one of their lapdogs.  

    Although in Harris County the Republicans just call it “conservative.”  Some have moved beyond that.  Beverly Kaufman who is pretty much a moderate Republican and well-respected endorsed Gene Locke. So did the C Club.  In the end the “conservatives” decided not to vote.  They didn't want to vote against one or for another.  Because they didn't want either as mayor.  They also didn't want Roy Morales because of course he's a Hispanic. If they had, given the low turn-out in November, Roy Morales probably would have won the election.  

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