Democratic state Sen. John Whitmire defeated Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in the Houston mayoral race in Saturday’s runoff election after a campaign heavily focused on voter concerns over safety on the streets.
Whitmire, a perennial tough-on-crime voice who for decades heralded Texas regulations over public safety, was declared the winner by the Associated Press with 57 percent reporting. At that point, Whitmire was leading by an almost 2-to-1 margin.
With backing from the city’s fire department and police unions and a multimillion-dollar campaign war chest, Whitmire was the early favorite in the race and finished first in the 18-candidate general election in November. When no candidate secured 50 percent of the vote, the race went to a runoff.