Campaign For Houston Mayor Is A ‘Noisy And Rollicking Race’ To The Finish

Incumbent Sylvester Turner is polling below 50%. He’s trying to pin his main opponent, Tony Buzbee, as a Donald Trump supporter.

By Jill AmentOctober 28, 2019 12:39 pm, ,

The mayoral race in Houston is drawing more attention than most of the races happening across Texas during this off-year election. Incumbent Sylvester Turner is facing a stiff challenge from attorney Tony Buzbee. And Buzbee’s not the only one vying for Turner’s spot. 

Patrick Svitek reports for The Texas Tribune, and says the contest “has become a kind of noisy and rollicking race in the home stretch.”

Election Day is Nov. 5.

Businessman Bill King, who came close to defeating Turner in the 2015 mayoral race, is also running. But Svitek says the contest is really between Turner and Buzbee. Turner has worked to tie Buzbee to President Donald Trump, an unpopular figure in heavily Democratic Houston.

“In 2016, when Donald Trump was the presumptive Republican nominee, Tony Buzbee hosted a fundraiser for him,” Svitek says. “He took a picture with his arm around Donald Trump. He later disavowed Trump after the release of that infamous ‘Access Hollywood’ tape.”

After Trump won, Buzbee donated half a million dollars to the president’s inauguration committee, Svitek says. 

“Turner is really working hard in the end, here, to make all that past support for Donald Trump an issue,” he says.

Svitek says Buzbee is running as “a kind of nonpartisan political outsider.”

Turner could face a runoff with Buzbee, Svitek says, since polls show less than 50% of voters support Turner, and a significant number of voters have said they’re undecided. But Turner would still be the favorite in a runoff contest, he says. 

Buzbee has spent $10 million of his own money to pay for his campaign.


Written by Shelly Brisbin.