All but one race appeared to be clearly decided in the Dec. 14 runoff, with the Houston City Council District H contest in limbo. Incumbent Kara Cisneros held a razor-thin lead over her opponent Isabel Longoria for much of the night as results were compiled. As of 11:30 p.m., she was holding the lead by 25 votes.
Turner held a 15-point lead over Buzbee at 10 p.m. and election officials called the race’s unofficial results in Turner’s favor by 10:30 p.m. Later in the night, the lead shrunk slightly, but Turner held a strong margin.
In a mid-evening speech, Turner referenced the high cost of campaigning against his opponent Tony Buzbee, who self-funded his multimillion-dollar campaign.
“You don’t have to have as much money has some else, you don’t have to drive the same car as someone else, you don’t have to as big of a house as someone else. In this city, you can grow up and still live in the hood and still be the mayor of the fourth largest city in the U.S.”
At an election night watch party, Buzbee said he was proud of the campaign and its ability to exceed experts' and pundits' opinions. Despite the momentum, he said it was difficult to face a “career politician” referring to Turner’s tenure in the Texas Legislature in addition to his first term as mayor.
“We were close. Closer than people thought we could get. We did so much more than the so-called experts at the local universities who said we would be 20 points from the mayor,” Buzbee said.
In other races, at-large Houston City Council incumbents David Robinson, Michael Kubosh and Mike Knox were all leading decisively throughout the night.
In the District C race, a much-sought-after race in the general election, Abbie Kamin held a lead throughout the night.
View more election results here.