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Democratic Houston may elect a Republican mayor. - www.sorrentosweets.com

Democratic Houston may elect a Republican mayor.

Two longstanding Democrats who have sparred over public safety will try to lead the nation's fourth-largest city in a runoff on Saturday.

Leonard Wickers, 73, a South Houston carpenter, took a break from building a new house to vote in the mayoral runoff early this week.

Mr. Wickers, who is Black, supported Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, a Democratic politician and Houston Black community leader who has the support of outgoing mayor Sylvester Turner and party luminaries like Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Wickers was unenthusiastic about voting. He would be fine if her opponent, white politician and veteran Democrat John Whitmire, won. 

 “That’s all for show,” Mr. Wickers remarked of the race. “Nothing’s happening. Dirty streets remain.”

His views seem popular. Houstonians have many complaints about their city — crime, traffic, housing costs, garbage collection, and the difficulty of getting a permit to do anything

— but the race to lead the nation's fourth-largest city has produced little fanfare compared to recent municipal elections in Los Angeles and Chicago.

How about a mayor election with no turnout? stated University of Houston political science professor Brandon Rottinghaus. 

“That’s basically where For the first time in years, a nonpartisan Houston mayoral election will culminate in a Saturday runoff between two prominent Democrats, 

Ms. Jackson Lee, 73, in Congress since 1995, and Mr. Whitmire, 74, in the State Senate since 1983.

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