Mayor Annise Parker won a second two-year term Tuesday night, but her victory was less than impressive.
Against token opposition, Parker barely avoided a runoff. With all votes counted, the incumbent mayor garnered 50.8 percent of the vote over five underfunded and little-known challengers despite spending more than $2.3 million. Her precedessor, Bill White, won 86 percent of the vote in his last race for mayor in 2007.
With all votes counted, Parker garnered 50.8 percent of the vote over five underfunded and little-known challengers despite spending more than $2.3 million.
Parker actually received fewer than 50 percent of the votes cast on Election Day but she rolled up greater tallies in early voting and absentee ballots cast.
The turnout was extremely light, as just over 13 percent of registered voters went to the polls in the mayor's race.
At a rally at Union Station at Minute Maid Park, Parker touted her victory, telling supporters, "I want to thank the voters for giving me two more years in a job that I love. I'm still excited to go to work every day."
In a hotly contested city council race, incumbent at-large member Jolanda Jones is headed for a Dec. 10 runoff against challenger Jack Christie, whom she barely defeated two years ago. Jones led with nearly 39 percent of the vote; Christie ran second with nearly 33 percent.
In District A, incumbent Brenda Stardig, with 41 percent of the vote, trailed challenger Helena Brown, who took 47 percent. They also will meet in the Dec. 10 runoff.
Other incumbent council members fared better, as Wanda Adams, Mike Sullivan, Al Hoang, Oliver Pennington, Ed Gonzalez, James Rodriguez, Stephen Costello, Melissa Noriega and C.O. Bradford were reelected.
In districts without an incumbent, former state representative Ellen Cohen was elected to represent District C (or as some CultureMappers call it, the "Hipstrict"), Mike Laster will represent the newly formed District J and Larry Green is the new council member for the new District K.
Other runoff races are in At-Large Position 2, where Andrew Burks and Kristi Thibaut will face off, and in District B, where voters will chose between Alvin Byrd and Jerry Davis. Neither race had an incumbent.