Early Voting starts Nov. 27 in Run-off Election

Voters Focused on Mayoral Race; Council At-Large #3 Race features Cantu

By David Taylor
Managing Editor

With early voting beginning on Monday, November 27, 2023, the race is on for several city of Houston spots including the mayor’s office.

Former State Representative John Whitmire led all voters in the mayoral election garnering 106,735 votes or 43.04 percent of the vote to runner-up Congressman Sheila Jackson Lee’s 86,371 votes at 34.83 percent of the vote. The turnout was a disappointing 247,969 votes cast in the mayoral election.

The city of Houston has become accustomed to runoffs in their mayoral elections. The 2023 election is no different becoming the third in a row dating back to 2015 when former State Representative Sylvester Turner won a runoff election against former Kemah Mayor Bill King by one of the narrowest margins in Houston elections, a mere 678 votes or approximately 0.4 percent margin.

According to Texas Secretary of State Jane Nelson’s website, the city boasts 2,568,463 registered voters with the largest turn out in three decades coming in the 2020 presidential election where 1,633,557 constituents cast their vote. The largest percentage vote came in the presidential election in 1992 that produced a 71.68 percent turnout.

The last Houston mayoral runoff, in 2019, Turner emerged the leader in a field of 12 and runner-up attorney Tony Buzbee followed closely behind. However, Buzbee was not able to turnout his voters in the runoff and lost to Turner 113,262 to 88,844 or 56 to 44 percent.

Both Whitmire and Jackson have name recognition in the community and whoever is best organized to get voters to the polls a second time will have the advantage.


The mayor’s race isn’t the only one headed to a runoff. Four of the five At- Large positions on City Council and Houston City Council Districts D, G, and H all have runoffs. The Controller’s office also has a runoff with former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins facing off against former Harris County Treasurer Orland o Sanchez. Hollins won the field during the November election earning 95,382 votes or 44.84 percent of the vote to Sanchez 57,996 or 27.27 percent.

In the city council elections, in At-Large Position 1, Julian Ramirez will face off against Melanie Miles. A mere 1,697 votes separated them in the November election. In At-Large Position 2, Willie Davis will battle Nick Hellyar after the two were the top vote-getters in the first election. Richard Cantu and Twila Carter will meet for the At-Large Position 3 runoff. Cantu captured 43,065 votes or 22.09 percent while Carter picked up 40,334 or 20.69 percent of the vote. Neither were able to win the majority in a field of nine candidates. The final city council position runoff is between Roy Morales and Letitia Plummer. Plummer almost secured the spot with 47.97 percent of the vote to Morales 33.23 percent.

For county residents, particularly in area municipalities, the city elections have meaning.

In one case, many are forced to purchase their water from the city of Houston.

Since Houston is the only owner of surface water in the area and their representatives also stack a majority of the positions on the subsidence district’s board, it’s difficult to outvote them with a minority vote from municipalities who want to keep rates for their customers low.

Most local cities like Galena Park, Jacinto City and others purchase their surface water from the city of Houston as part of a long-range mandate by the state legislature to convert from ground water to surface water avoiding a growing subsidence issue.


On Monday, November 27, the Harris County County Clerk’s office says 41 Early Vote Centers will open across the area from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., through December 5 from Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sunday from noon to 7 p.m.

There will be 450 Vote Centers open on Election Day, Saturday, December 9, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. You can vote at any location.

The deadline to apply for a mail ballot is November 28.

To see a sample ballot for your area, please visit the County Clerk’s website at harrisvotes.com.