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Turner defeats Buzbee

Oh my God I’m so glad this is over.

Mayor Sylvester Turner

Mayor Sylvester Turner declared victory over Tony Buzbee as his lead over the millionaire businessman continued to grow with half of all voting centers in the city counted late Saturday.

Turner led from the moment early voting and absentee results were posted shortly after the polls closed at 7 p.m., putting him in position to retain his seat for a second four-year term. Election day results, however, ensured he would see a wider margin than four years ago, when he bested businessman Bill King by 2 percentage points.

Early and absentee ballots are expected to make up roughly half the total votes cast in the runoff, meaning Buzbee likely would have had to win handily on Election Day to make up his initial deficit.

Turner took the stage at his election night party at 10 p.m. to declare victory in front of television news cameras.

“If there’s any lesson from this campaign, it’s that you don’t have to have as much money as someone else. You don’t have to live in a house that’s as big as someone else. You don’t have to drive a car that’s as fancy as someone else,” he said.

Buzbee spoke several minutes earlier. He did not concede the race, but acknowledged his chances were slim.

“I’m not an idiot,” he said. “I see the returns.”

I disagree with your premise, sir. And I am so, so glad I will never have to give any of my brain space to you again.

Election Day returns are here. (Fort Bend results, where Turner did as well as you’d expect, are here.) You may note that Turner built on his Harris County lead on Election Day, outperforming his Early Vote margin by several points. Keep that in mind when you read this:

The comments were…not kind. Symbolic or not, Sylvester Turner won re-election by a comfortable margin. And Tony Buzbee is over. Thank heavens.

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  1. Jason Hochman says:

    It may be time for progressives such as I to move from Houston. The segregation is apparently supported by many. None of the candidates for my city council district were even aware of the voluntary compliance agreement with HUD, until I emailed it to them. How can it be that these connected and educated types can’t have read it, but I read it, and I have not much of a brain.

  2. Tom in Lazybrook says:


    Youre not being particularly clear. Are you referring to the Galleria low income housing issue?

  3. Jules says:

    Moving makes a lot more sense than voting, go for it Jason.

  4. Mainstream says:

    I met current housing director Tom McCasland during his city council campaign a few years ago, and have full confidence in his abilities and drive to properly manage any issues you may have, Jason. I can state without reservation that he would not implement a plan perpetuating segregation.

  5. Jason Hochman says:

    Tom in Lazybrook, I am referring to the voluntary compliance agreement with HUD, which states that HUD found that the mayor and city violated Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, but that the city wanted to dispute this. Instead of further pursuing the investigation further, HUD offered this agreement in which the city didn’t have to admit to anything, but agreed to various audits and inspections to meet required milestones.

    This agreement was signed in March of 2018. Immediately after that, a fair housing non profit in Texas sued HUD for not doing enough to combat segregation.

    The City of Houston has a fair housing ordinance. This episodes merits impeachment of the mayor so that we can find out the truth, and have an airing of the facts for council to decide. The voluntary compliance agreement is a public document that you can find online and read it and decide for yourself.

    Jules, moving makes much more sense than voting. Was my one vote going to swing the election? If the margin was that small, yes that it would make a difference. Do I want to live in a place where so many people agree with segregation? I am not from Houston, and not tied down.

  6. Jules says:

    Jason, no doubt there are many who think as you do. Great job!

  7. C.L. says:

    With Ben Carson leading HUD, the brain trust that he is (and ardent Trump policy supporter), I have no doubt no doubt he’d personally investigate any possible segregation policies perpetuated by a Democratic Mayor in the fourth largest City in the US.

    Jason, you should contact him directly and let him know your suspicions. Even if you choose to contact him from your new domicile in say, Amarillo, Abilene, or Arlington, I’m convinced he’ll take your information to heart and investigate thoroughly.

  8. Jason Hochman says:

    C L, you aren’t making any sense. The mayor and city were found to have violated Title VI, by the agency, HUD. This is documented in a contract signed in March 2018 by both parties.

    I don’t need to contact Ben Carson about this.

    After the contract was signed by HUD and the city, a Texas fair housing non profit filed a suit against HUD. I don’t know the outcome of the lawsuit.

    My “suspicions” have nothing to do with it. An investigation was done, and a finding was issued. Read the voluntary compliance agreement in order to prevent swallowing your foot.

  9. C.L. says:

    Jason, the HUD finding was flimsy at best – they felt a Title VI violation occurred because Turner called bullshit on a HUD funded, HHA (Houston Housing Authority) $56M, 223 unit apartment for low income residents, a per unit cost of $240K,…in the Galleria area. To say that would have been a misuse of funds (change locale to just about any other spot in the City and you could have quadrupled the housing at the same cost and placed any low income students in better schools) is/was an understatement. If you want to do some good with $56M when it comes to low income housing, put those 223 units in Sunnyside or North Navigation, etc., where low income families live. Keep the family unit intact.

    I’ve read the compliance agreement.

  10. Jason Hochman says:

    CL, if you read the compliance agreement then you know that my “suspicion” has nothing to do with the investigation, and, further that the Fountain View project was called “bullshit” by Turner due in part to racially motivated reasons. As usual, Turner claimed that there was no money to put the project in front of council. His default excuse for everything that he doesn’t want to do. there’s no money for public safety, but barrels of pork for his friends and interns.

    Keep the family unit intact? Is that a code for keep them minorities in their assigned neighborhoods?

    The council needs to begin an impeachment so that the facts can be analyzed and a decision made. Next thing you will say that Trump shouldn’t be impeached. You will say that the Ukraine evidence is flimsy at best, and the millions of dollars wasted on the Russia collusion investigation was a waste. By the way, Turner never did send me his tax returns that I requested.

  11. Bill Kelly says:

    If only former HUD Secretary Julian Castro had weighed in on the Mayor’s race . . .

  12. Jules says:

    CL nice dog whistle on keep the family unit intact. They won’t be separating “family units”. Affordable housing should be scattered throughout the city and should be indistinguishable from other housing. Annise Parker dropped the ball on requiring affordable housing in every single downtown apartment complex that she gifted with tax breaks. The underlying ordinance actually requires affordable housing. Instead the city required absolutely nothing.

  13. C.L. says:

    The Galleria project assigned <10% of the units to individuals below the poverty level, the remaining 200 units, best as I can ascertain, were not assigned to low income individuals and were, in all likelihood, were going to be high dollar. If you're attempting to provide low income housing, the HHA project wasn't the way to go about it.

    And FYI, far as I'm concerned, I'm a minority living in a sea of affluence and fellow minorities.

  14. Steve Houston says:

    Jason, there was more concern about an intern than your slanted take on segregation in this election, less than 20% of registered voters caring enough to pick from what was available. Spin it any way you like but most found no reason to bother voting in the main election or the runoff which speaks volumes for the perceived quality of those running for office.

  15. Bill Daniels says:


    Wrong. The reason only one in 5 people voted was because of voter suppression by the Republicans. Did you miss the videos of crowds of people desperately trying to get into the polling places, only to be turned back by MAGA hat wearing thugs?

    It’s clearly racism, gerrymandering, and suppression, not voter apathy.