Since none of the 17 candidates on the Houston mayoral ballot received 50 percent or more of the votes on November 7, the top two candidates are headed for a runoff election later this year.

The two contenders are career Democrat politicians who currently hold higher offices. They are also the only two who received a double-digit percentage of the vote.

State Sen. John Whitmire, a state lawmaker of 50 years, is still the top contender for mayor. He received 107,109 votes, or 43.3 percent.

U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, a congresswoman of 28 years, is the second contender. She received 89,783 votes, 36.29 percent.

Whitmire was first considered the front-runner when he announced his candidacy in November 2021.

On Election Day, Whitmire posted on X that he was “encouraged by tonight’s results.”

“We are going to continue to campaign on improvements to public safety, infrastructure, city services, transparency in our city and our city finances,” he wrote. “I’m looking forward to continuing to build a diverse coalition of Houstonians. As I’ve said before, no one’s gonna outwork me on this campaign. Let’s get to work!”

Jackson Lee also posted on X on Election Day that she was “feeling good.”

Following the results of the election, she took to X once again, saying, “Houston we are ready and energized for the runoff!!”

The other candidates received between zero and seven percent of the votes:

  • Gilbert Garcia – 18,165; seven percent
  • Jack Christie – 17,314; seven percent 
  • Lee Kaplan – 6,613; three percent
  • Robert Gallegos – 2,671; one percent
  • M.J. Khan – 2,476; one percent
  • Annie “Mama” Garcia – 1,970; one percent
  • Julian “Bemer” Martinez – 1,809; one percent
  • Roy Vasquez – 1,080; zero percent
  • M. “Griff” Griffin – 671; zero percent
  • Kathy Lee Tatum – 530; zero percent
  • David C. Lowy – 366; zero percent
  • Chanel Mbala – 356; zero percent
  • Naoufal Houjami – 351; zero percent
  • Gaylon S. Caldwell – 330; zero percent
  • B. Ivy – 286; zero percent

A University of Houston survey in October found that in an anticipated runoff, Whitmire led Jackson Lee 50 percent to 36 percent.

The Houston mayoral runoff election will be held on December 9.

Soli Rice

A journalist for Texas Scorecard, Soli is a new Texan with a passion for politics. She's excited to hone her writing skills and help spread truth to Texans.