Aug 23, 2023 - Politics

Declared mayoral candidates for the November election

Illustration of a political campaign button with the words MEET THE CANDIDATES on it.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

More than a dozen candidates are vying for the Houston mayor position in the upcoming November election.

Driving the news: The deadline to file for a place on the ballot — for mayor, City Council and controller — was earlier this week.

  • The deadline for write-in candidates is Friday.

Why it matters: The candidates are competing to succeed term-limited Mayor Sylvester Turner and lead the country's fourth-largest city.

State of play: U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee and state Sen. John Whitmire are the frontrunners of the mayoral race, according to an early poll. Both are Democrats, though the election is nonpartisan.

  • Councilmember Robert Gallegos, former Metro Chair Gilbert Garcia, attorney Lee Kaplan, and former council members Jack Christie and MJ Khan are running for mayor as well.
  • Other declared candidates are: Gaylon Caldwell, Annie Garcia, Michael J. Griffin, Naoufal Houjami, Robert Ivy, David C. Lowy, Julian Martinez, Chanel Mbala, Kathy Lee Tatum and Roy Vasquez.

Of note: Writer and activist Derrick Broze is challenging the city's decision to deny his mayoral candidate application because of a nonviolent felony drug conviction in 2005. He ran for mayor in 2019.

  • Other mayoral candidates — like Christie, Gallegos and Gilbert Garcia — signed Broze's letter in support.

With such a crowded field of candidates, the election may result in a runoff in December. An early University of Houston poll suggests in the event of a likely runoff between Jackson Lee and Whitmire, Whitmire is poised for a lead.

Plus: More than 50 people are running for City Council seats, including attorney Tony Buzbee, who previously ran for mayor in 2019.

  • There are also four names on the ballot for the city controller position.

What's next: The general election is Nov. 7.

  • Early voting starts Oct. 23. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 10.

Go deeper: Here's the full list of the declared candidates in the November election.


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