HOUSTON - Houston Mayor Annise Parker won a second term Tuesday, but she faced fierce competition from five opponents.
Parker was challenged by Kevin Simms, Amanda Ulman, Dave Wilson, deputy fire chief Fernando Herrera and Jack O'Connor.
Parker received 58,939 of 115,881 votes. O'Connor had 17,153 votes, Herrera had 16,646, Wilson was fourth with 13,589 votes, Simms had 7,733 and Ullman had 1,821 votes.
Parker said Tuesday before the polls closed that she expected to win without a runoff.
"This election, I had five opponents plus the economy," Parker said. "I know that the voters of Houston are concerned. I know that the people that I talked to, as I was campaigning, are anxious about how their jobs are going to last, or whether they have a job. I also know that Houston is the best city in America to live, to work, to raise a family. Thank God we live in Houston, Texas."
All of Houston's City Council seats were also up for grabs.
One of the most hotly-contested races was for At-Large Position 5. Jolanda Jones currently holds the seat, but Laurie Robinson, Jack Christie and Bob Ryan wanted to take it from her.
Jones won 39 percent of the votes. Christie was next behind her with 33 percent, Robinson had 20 percent and Ryan had 8 percent. The winner will be decided in a runoff.
"I've been in two," Jones said. "I feel like I'm in 'Groundhog Day.' It's just like 'Groundhog Day.' I've been in two runoffs. You guys did this the last time, and I won. I'm not afraid of a runoff."
"I feel real good," Christie said. "We have strong voters, and they'll support and come to the runoffs. I just want to thank them for voting me because we had thousands of votes. I just hope they come back out into the runoff."
Two new seats have been added to Houston City Council -- Districts J and K.
Mike Laster, Rodrigo Canedo and Criselda Romero ran for District J. The population for District J is 63 percent Hispanic, but only about 17 percent of the registered voters in the southwest Houston district have Latino last names.
Laster received 69 percent of the votes for District J. Canedo had 11 percent of the votes and Romero had 20 percent.
Laster has said his priorities are to increase police patrol and change the perception of southwest Houston.
"For those who voted for me, I want to say thank you," Laster said. "For those who didn't, I want to do my best to earn their support."
Pat Frazier, Larry Green and Alex Gonik ran for District K in southwest Houston.
Larry Green won 65 percent of the votes for District K.
"To me, it's really to have the opportunity to represent where I grew up," Green said.
District C has been dubbed the "Hipstrict" because of all of its "cool" neighborhoods and eclectic residents in the Heights and Montrose areas. Five people ran for the seat on City Council, and former state Rep. Ellen Cohen won it with 54 percent of the votes.
"I don't know if I feel very hip, and I don't know if I would be described as hip, but I really think it's a terrific district and I am so honored to be representing it," Cohen said.
Ten candidates ran for At-Large Position 2. Two, Andrew C. Burks Jr. and Kristi Thibaut, will meet in a runoff.
"When we do jobs, we're talking about actually finding a way to bring about new jobs in the city, and that is through the small businesses," Burks said. "I have a plan to do the incubator program that we have already, which is, in my opinion, it's not doing what it should be doing."
Thibaut said she will continue her campaign message of wanting to make the city safe for families.
"I think the message that I send out to women, the No. 1 thing is that: public safety," she said. "I got the support of both Houston Police and Fire, and I think it's important to have safe neighborhoods, to have a place for our children to play and feel safe. That's the No. 1 thing that I've really been pushing for."
All of the terms begin on Jan. 2.
The cities of Bellaire and Patton Village also voted for their mayor.
In Bellaire, Phil Nauert won with 85 percent of the votes.
Incumbent Patton Village Pamela Munoz won 48 percent of the votes. Leah Tarrant received 44 percent of the votes and James Sharber got 8 percent of the votes.
The County Clerk's Office said there are 1.8 million registered voters in Harris County. More than 49,600 people cast their ballot during the early voting period. Approximately 8,600 Harris County residents voted by mail.
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