Dec 11, 2023 - News

John Whitmire to lead Houston in 2024

Houston Mayor-elect John Whitmire

Houston's next mayor, John Whitmire. Photo: Sergio Flores/Bloomberg via Getty Images

John Whitmire will be Houston's new mayor.

Driving the news: Whitmire defeated fellow Democrat U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee with 128,908 votes (65%) in Saturday's runoff.

  • Nearly 17% of the 1.2 million eligible registered voters cast their ballots in the Harris County runoff election, which consisted of Baytown, Bellaire and Houston.
  • That's compared to 17.5% of the 2.6 million eligible voters in the Nov. 7 general election for all of Harris County.

Why it matters: Whitmire, a moderate, is the first new mayor we'll see since Mayor Sylvester Turner took office in 2016.

  • Turner is leaving office after serving two consecutive four-year terms, the limit for Houston's mayor.

State of play: Whitmire bills himself as a tough-on-crime leader willing to work across the aisle to get things done.

What they're saying: "We're not just great," Whitmire told supporters after declaring victory Saturday night. "We're special. We're not New York. We're not L.A. We're sure not Chicago. We fix our problems."

  • "From day one, we will have transparency," Whitmire said. "You will be able to talk to your mayor from day one."

Flashback: Whitmire was favored in several polls leading up to the election.

Meanwhile, Jackson Lee still has a chance in Congress despite her unsuccessful mayoral bid.

What's next: Whitmire takes office in January.


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