Days after election night, District H candidates await final results in neck-and-neck race

Isabel Longoria and Karla Cisneros
Former Houston Planning Commissioner Isabel Longoria (left) trailed District H Council Member Karla Cisneros by 12 votes in the Dec. 14 runoff election. (Courtesy photos)

Former Houston Planning Commissioner Isabel Longoria (left) trailed District H Council Member Karla Cisneros by 12 votes in the Dec. 14 runoff election. (Courtesy photos)

Just 12 votes separated incumbent District H City Council Member Karla Cisneros from her opponent Isabel Longoria by the end of election night Dec. 14.

Harris County officials said Tuesday they are still tallying 208 late mail-in ballots and about 500 provisional ballots, including 69 cast in the District H race. These are ballots cast by those who did not appear on the county’s list of registered voters because of clerical issues, Harris County Director of Elections Michael Winn said.

“It’s been a lot of hurry up and wait,” Longoria said. “The whole Houston political community is on the edge of their seats.”

The county plans to publish the official results at 5 p.m. Dec. 20, after which candidates have two days to file a request for a recount. Longoria said requesting one is “absolutely on the table.”

The race to represent District H, which covers parts of the Heights, Northside and East End, was the most competitive of the municipal election and the only runoff election in which an incumbent could lose. At-Large incumbent council members Mike Knox, David Robinson and Michael Kubosh all secured re-election in the runoff.

Despite the narrow margin, Cisneros said she is optimistic about the results.

"The people I’m talking to have said there is usually not a whole lot of big change after election night, so I’m glad to be on the upside,” she said.

Longoria however said she’s holding out hope that the provisional ballots will flip the race results.

“We’re absolutely optimistic. To put it shortly, 69 is bigger than 12, we know there’s still a lot of numbers out there,” Longoria said. She added that either way, the end results will reflect a desire for change within the district and more engagement from the sitting council member.

“This election is the difference between another Latina, another LGBT, and frankly another progressive on the council," she said.

Cisneros said she was proud to serve her first term and if she maintains her seat, plans to address constituent concerns that she heard on the campaign trail.

“Campaigning is a great opportunity to have tons of one-on-one contact with voters,” she said.

In a second term, she said one of her priorities would be ensuring a complete and accurate census count.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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