Three city council incumbents are headed to December runoffs, according to complete but unofficial returns in Houston’s municipal elections.
With the final voting center counted mid-Wednesday morning, District D Councilmember Carolyn Evans-Shabazz, District G Councilmember Mary Nan Huffman and At Large 4 Councilmember Letitia Plummer will face challengers again after all three failed to receive more than 50 percent of the vote in their reelection bids Tuesday.
First-termer Huffman, facing an unexpected challenge from lawyer Tony Buzbee, dipped just below 50 percent in late Tuesday returns, but her runoff was not assured until the last voting center was counted Wednesday.
Meanwhile, former Harris County clerk Chris Hollins and former county treasurer Orlando Sanchez will face each other in runoff after leading a field of four vying to become Houston’s next city controller. Hollins was the leading vote-getter and held a significant lead on Sanchez,
As Houston’s chief financial officer, the controller oversees the city’s finances and also has the power to audit how city agencies are spending tax dollars.
The void left by term-limited outgoing controller Chris Brown drew three experienced political hands and one deputy controller.
Hollins, a former McKinsey consultant, said he will fight for increased transparency from the office, and touted his experience as the county’s chief elections officer in 2020. He also said he would stand up to Gov. Greg Abbott and would be willing to lift the revenue cap to fund public safety initiatives.
Sanchez, who also is a former Houston city council member and two-time mayoral candidate, stumped on crime and fixing the looming budget shortfall.
The remaining City Council incumbents easily outdistanced their challengers for reelection:
City Council District A:
Amy Peck, the incumbent, retained her council seat in an uncontested election. District A covers a large swath of northwest Houston.
City Council District B:
Incumbent Tarsha Jackson won District B well ahead of challenger Kendra London. The race for the district, which extends from central to northeast Houston, had a field of five candidates.
City Council District C:
Abbie Kamin beat challengers Perata PB Bradley and Felix Javier Cisneros to hold the seat representing the east part of the 610 Loop as well as areas just to the north and south of the area.
City Council District D:
Evans-Shabazz will face businessman Travis McGee after the two emerged the top finishes in a five-way race. Evans-Shabazz first was elected to council in 2019. The candidates are vying over a southern stretch of the city, which includes the Sunnyside and third Ward neighborhoods, among others.
City Council District E:
Business owner Fred Flickinger won District E, besting Humble ISD trustee Martina Lemond Dixon in the race for the seat being vacated by Councilmember Dave Martin, who is term-limited and ran for city controller. The district is split between two areas in the far northeast and southeast of the city, including Kingwood and Clear Lake, with a big gap in between.
City Council District F
Tiffany Thomas ran unopposed for a second term.
City Council District G:
First-term incumbent Mary Nan Huffman dipped just below 50 percent during the late Tuesday vote count in her bid for reelection against two challengers. She will face attorney Tony Buzbee in a second round of voting in December. The district stretches from central to western Houston and encompasses moneyed and more conservative areas, such as River Oaks. Buzbee, one of three candidates vying for the spot, was the lawyer representing embattled Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in his impeachment trial this year. He filed to run just before the late August deadline to get on the ballot.
City Council District H:
Former Houston Health Department employee and nonprofit director Mario Castillo and veteran Houston firefighter Cynthia Reyes Revilla are headed to a runoff in a race left wide open by the pending exit of term-limited councilmember Karla Cisneros. The pair outpaced three other candidates. District H includes parts of central and northern Houston.
City Council District I:
Joaquin Martinez won District I after besting Rick Gonzales in a two-way race against the former police officer. Martinez is the current director of community affairs for District I Councilman Robert Gallegos, who is term-limited and running for mayor. The district covers parts of Houston’s East End, and extends out along Interstate 45 to the southeast.
City Council District J:
Incumbent Edward Pollard was headed to reelection, easily outpacing challenger Ivan Sanchez, a commercial real estate investor and lender for a second term on council. The district largely is outside the 610 Loop along the path of U.S. 59.
City Council District K:
Incumbent Martha Castex-Tatum won another term as District K council member, running unopposed. She will continue to represent the southwest portion of the city which reaches into Fort Bend county.
City Council At-Large 1
Lawyer Melanie Miles and attorney and businessman Julian Ramirez were leading four other candidates for the seat currently held by Mike Knox, who is term-limited.
City Council At-Large 2
Willie Davis and Nick Hellyar emerged from the six-candidate field and will face each other in a December runoff for the seat currently held by term-limited architect David Robinson.
City Council At-Large 3
Richard Cantu and Twila Carter finished a head of seven other candidates looking to succeed outgoing Councilmember Michael Kubosh. They will meet again in a December runoff.
City Council At-Large 4
Incumbent Letitia Plummer will face second-place finisher Roy Morales in a runoff after failing to win at lest 50 percent of the vote in her four-candidate race.
City Council At-Large 5
Incumbent Sallie Alcorn was reelected, easily besting a pair of challengers, Rigo Hernandez and J. Brad Batteau, for a second term.