Texas state Sen. John Whitmire is projected to be Houston’s next mayor after beating his opponent, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, in a special runoff election on Saturday.
Whitmire inherits a city facing many challenges, including crime, crumbling infrastructure, and potential budget shortfalls. But despite these issues, booming growth over the last decade has turned the nation’s fourth-largest city into an expanding stronghold for Texas Democrats.
Houston mayoral candidates, state Sen. John Whitmire and U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, speak at a mayoral forum, Dec. 3, in Houston. (AP Photo/Lekan Oyekanmi)
Jackson Lee and Whitmire, both Democrats, made it to Saturday’s runoff after breezing past a crowded field of nearly 20 candidates in the Nov. 7 general election.
Jackson Lee, 73, has represented Houston in Congress since 1995. Before that, she served on Houston’s City Council.
On the campaign trail, Jackson touted her years of experience bringing federal funding to Houston for flooding relief, job training programs, and education.
“I want people to have confidence that as soon as I hit the ground running, I will have solutions coming, programs coming, answers coming,” she said.