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Gonzalez wins in District H

In the end, it wasn’t that close.

Houston police officer Ed Gonzalez won the runoff special election to fill Houston City Council District H Saturday, defeating former high school teacher and City Council staffer Maverick Welsh.

Although the campaign was hard fought, with both candidates personally knocking on thousands of doors and calling registered voters repeatedly, Gonzalez ultimately prevailed by a wide margin.

With all 13 precincts reporting, Gonzalez earned 61 percent of the vote to Welsh’s 39 percent with 4,680 ballots cast. That actually exceeded the total number of ballots cast in the initial nine candidate special election May 9, a rarity in Houston runoffs.

“I feel just tremendous,” Gonzalez said Saturday night. “I feel very humbled at the fact that the voters of District H have spoken.”

Gonzalez will immediately fill the seat vacated by Sheriff Adrian Garcia, a close friend and former police colleague with whom he has worked on several previous political campaigns.

He said he plans to establish relationships with members of City Council and ensure that all constituent services and relationships with the community remain strong.

The final vote total was 2854 for Gonzalez and 1826 for Welsh. Kudos again to Stace for calling the higher turnout. For what it’s worth, if we’re doing a little tooting of one’s own horn, I had a pretty good guess on the final turnout number. Here, the early vote total was 47.9% of the cumulative amount, or a smidge higher than it was for the May election.

As far as the negative stuff, one way to look at this is that if you simply compare Welsh to Gonzalez in May, Welsh got 46.2% of the vote share. Gonzalez, who won all three aspects of the vote this time, therefore won a bigger percentage of the vote in the runoff. I wouldn’t necessarily conclude that the barrage of negative mail from the Welsh campaign hurt him, but it sure didn’t help.

Be that as it may, my congratulations to Council Member Ed Gonzalez on his victory today. I have full confidence in his ability to do the job. Best wishes, and good luck to you.

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