In the hotel's reception room, Whitmire's first words to the crowd were, "I am a public servant," a callout to his 50 years of tenure as a state representative and of the path he said he would like to lead as mayor.
The event was hosted by a committee of 400 individuals and attended by close to 1,000 people, per a press release from Whitmire.
Whitmire, according to the release, promised transparency.
“My job will be to remind the governor and the leadership in Austin that as Houston goes is how the state will go,” he said in a statement.
Candidates cannot officially file an application for a place on the ballot until July 22, 2023, according to city information. The election will take place Nov. 7, 2023, and will also include races for the city's 16 council seats and the city controller.
Other Houstonians who have made public announcements or launched websites about their mayoral campaigns include businessperson Lee Kaplan, former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, former at-large Houston City Council Member Amanda Edwards and police officer Robin Williams.