Updated 7:09 a.m. Nov. 8

With all results nearly in from Harris, Montgomery and Fort Bend counties, John Whitmire and Sheila Jackson Lee will compete in a runoff election in December in the race for Houston mayor.

Whitmire is leading the field of 17 mayoral candidates with 42.5% of the votes, or 106,650 votes, according to unofficial results from the three counties. Jackson Lee picked up 35.7% of the votes, or 89,597 votes.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.

Updated 10:40 p.m. Nov. 7

With results in from 150 of 701 voting centers in Harris County, John Whitmire and Sheila Jackson Lee are poised to head to a runoff in the race for Houston mayor.

Whitmire is maintaining a lead set up by early votes with 42.8% of the votes, or 66,363 votes, according to unofficial results. Meanwhile, Jackson Lee has 36.7% of the votes, or 56,930 votes.

Trailing the two frontrunners are Gilbert Garcia with 7.1% of the votes and Jack Christie with 6.8% of the votes.

Additional votes are also coming in from Fort Bend and Montgomery counties, where small parts of the city of Houston extend.

Posted 7:30 p.m. Nov. 7

With early voting results tallied, John Whitmire and Sheila Jackson Lee are leading a 17-person race to be the next mayor of Houston.

What you need to know

Whitmire has 43.2% of the votes, or 60,087 votes, while Jackson Lee has 36.5% of the votes, or 50,745 votes.

Gilbert Garcia is next in line with 7.1% of the votes, while Jack Christie garnered 6.9% of the votes and Lee Kaplan earned 2.5%. None of the other 12 candidates received more than 1% of the vote after early voting.

If no candidate earns more than 50% of the vote, the top two candidates with the most votes will compete in a runoff election that will take place Dec. 9.

The background

Whitmire has served as a state senator in Texas representing the Houston area for 40 years. In a Q&A with Community Impact, he said his top priorities if elected would include funding public safety, improving city infrastructure and addressing shortcomings in city services, including garbage pickup, water bills, illegal dumping and the city's permitting office.

In the 2023 legislative session, Whitmire authored a bill that would force the city into negotiations with the Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association, the union representing fire fighters in the Houston Fire Department. After being signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott, the law was challenged by the city of Houston in court. Whitmire said he would work with the union on a deal if elected.

Whitmire's endorsements include the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation, the Houston Police Officer's Union and former mayor Lee Brown.

Jackson Lee has served in the U.S. House of Representatives for District 18 in Houston since 1995. In a Q&A with Community Impact, she said her top priorities include addressing crime, reforming the permitting process, building affordable housing and improving city infrastructure. Her recent work in the House has included authoring bills to increasing penalties against human trafficking in schools.

Her endorsements include Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, the Houston Federation of Teachers and the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus.

What else?

Read a Q&A with all 17 candidates here, and find live reporting of election results in the Greater Houston area and the state here.

Mayors in Houston serve four-year terms and are limited to two total terms. The next mayor will replace Sylvester Turner, who was elected in 2015 and is term limited.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.