The results of the 2015 election are in and the Houston Forward Times (HFT) is here to give you the results of the key races that everyone was watching.
After unsuccessfully running two times before, for the highest seat in the city of Houston, Turner managed to fend off an extremely competitive opponent, former Kemah Mayor and businessman Bill King, with 51% of the vote this past Saturday to become Houston’s next Mayor – and as the saying goes the third time was a charm. Turner defeated King by slightly over 4,000 votes; a 51-49% margin of victory.
With the victory, Mayor-elect Turner becomes only the second African American to lead the city of Houston. Mayor Lee P. Brown was the first African American to be elected mayor of Houston in 1997 and served the maximum of three terms from 1998 to 2004.
Turner previously ran for the opportunity to become Houston’s first African American mayor in 1991 and lost to Bob Lanier. He ran again in 2003 and lost to Bill White.
It took a gargantuan effort for Turner to pull out the victory against his opponent.
He was effectively able to get his base voters out during early voting, which proved pivotal in the race’s final outcome. Coming out of early voting with the lead gave the early impression that Turner would coast to victory, however, King was able to close the gap after a strong push to get his voters out on Election Day. In Harris County, King beat Turner by 112 votes on Election Day.
Turner lost the lead in Harris County closer to the end of the night, but was able to recover and hold off his challenger by a mere 678 votes. In spite of the close vote count in Harris County, it was the strong voting bloc of Fort Bend County that made the proverbial difference, solidified the victory and put the race out of harm’s way for Turner.
“I love me some Fort Bend,” said a jubilant Turner at his victory party downtown at the George R. Brown Convention Center. “I will do my very, very best to represent every single Houstonian in this city whether you voted for me or not.”
Prior to his victory speech, King called and congratulated Turner and encouraged his constituents to support him during his concession speech.
“I offered him (Turner) my assistance in the very difficult challenges our city is facing, said King during his concession speech at the Royal Sonesta in the Galleria. “I would encourage all Houstonians to do the same, because we are facing some very trying times over the next couple of years in our city government and he’s going to need our support in making sure we get the city back on the right track.”
This was one of the closest races in recent years.
Turner had received countless endorsements, including an endorsement from President Barack Obama. He also received endorsements from several of his general election opponents, such as former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Marty McVey and Stephen Costello.
One of the endorsements Turner did not receive after the general election was that of former congressman and staunch Democrat Chris Bell. This came as a shock to many because Bell, a Democrat, chose not to support Turner – who is also a Democrat – but chose to endorse and throw his full support behind Bill King – a Republican.
The endorsement by Bell seemed to resonate with the progressive urban district within the city, District C, where Turner fell short to King by over 10 points.
Turner is in the process of putting together his transition team and planning to take over the reins in January for Mayor Annise Parker, who is term-limited.
Several of the other closely-watched races of the evening in this election cycle were the At-Large Position 1, At- Large Position 2; At-Large Position 4 and At-Large Position 5 Houston City Council races; the Houston City Controller race; and several Houston Independent School District races. Each At-Large City Council race featured an African American candidate, which would have made history in the city of Houston with the number of African Americans on council at the same time.
In the At-Large Position 1 race, businesswoman Georgia Provost came close to victory against Mike Knox, but fell short by roughly 3,500 votes. Knox defeated Provost 51-49%.
In the At-Large Position 2 race, incumbent David Robinson bested Willie R. Davis, receiving 54% of the vote to Davis’ 46% of the vote.
In the At-Large Position 4 race being vacated by term-limited C.O. Bradford, Amanda Edwards soundly defeated veteran political candidate Roy Morales. Edwards garnered 62% of the vote, while Morales finished with 38%.
In the At-Large Position 5 race, incumbent Jack Christie beat Sharon Moses; 58-42%.
In the race to replace term-limited Ron Green for Houston City Controller, Chris Brown received 53% of the vote to defeat Bill Frazer.
HISD Board President and Trustee for District II, Rhonda Skillern Jones, soundly defeated her opponent Larry Williams to win re-election, garnering 70% of the overall vote.
After this election, Mayor-elect Turner will have four African Americans serving on Houston City Council with him, including one African American female for the first time since Wanda Adams left due to term-limits. Edwards (At-Large 4) joins Dwight Boykins (District D), Jerry Davis (District B) and Larry Green (District K) as the four African Americans who will be represented on Houston City Council beginning in January 2016.
The Houston Forward Times congratulates Mayor-elect Turner and all of the elected officials who were victorious this past Saturday. The HFT has huge expectations for these elected officials and are hopeful that each will represent the city of Houston and their constituents well.