Another Democratic lawmaker wins Houston mayor’s seat, by a hair, marking a constant trend of red states’ cities electing blue candidates. The announcement that Dem. candidate Sylvester Turner won the mayoral race was made Saturday night.
Nevertheless, Turner had to compete for the seat against Rep. Bill King, a conservative businessman praised for his charity and work within community boards,so the race was a nailbiter.
Final results showed that the Democratic lawmaker defeated King by 50.96 to 49.04, which is a difference of about 4,000 votes. Immediately, critics started to bash the winner for his ties with the White House. On the other hand, the fourth largest U.S. city by population, Houston, hasn’t seen a Republican mayor in more than three decades.
Former mayor Annise Parker is a Democrat who was elected three times and served as the city’s mayor for six years. Parker was also the city’s first openly gay mayor, but she lost some of her red voters’ trust when she pushed for an ordinance supporting gay-marriage benefits and tried to subpoena five outspoken pastors for criticizing the ordinance.
Turner, 61, lost the mayoral race in Houston twice in 1993 and 2003, respectively, but he never quit the political stage. On various occasions, he had the last word when he served as a Democrat in Texas’ GOP-controlled legislature. He was also an avid supporter of LGBT communities at that time.
Apparently, Houston is one of those now surprisingly many Democratic enclaves within a large red state. Analysts noted that there have always been political tensions within a state historically, but regardless of their political color politicians had often shared similar politics.
Yet, in recent years voting data revealed that people no longer make their city liberal, instead the cities make them so, while the gap between blue urban areas and the red countryside keeps becoming even larger.
For instance, four of the Lone Star State’s major cities are controlled by Democrats. And so are other major cities across the U.S. including New Orleans, Charleston, Tucson, and Atlanta.
But this year, the mayoral race was uncommonly tight, especially because of King’s popularity among moderate voters. Sen. Paul Bettencourt, one of King’s long time supporters, explained that the businessman’s popularity was due to his strategy of addressing both Democrats and Republicans because Houston’s Republican constituency is too small for a candidate to win a race by solely relying on it.
Image Source: Mhahouston