Sen. John Whitmire running for Houston mayor

Whitmire is the longest-serving member of the Texas Senate.

HOUSTON — The race for Houston mayor is starting to heat up as Sylvester Turner‘s term limit ends next year. 

Texas Senator John Whitmire announced he will be running for mayor in 2023, kicking off his campaign Wednesday.

“I’m John Whitmire, a public servant, and I go where I’m called. And I’ve gotten a call from Houstonians to leave the legislature and come back and be elected mayor of the City of Houston,” Whitmire said at the beginning of his campaign announcement. 

Whitmire, who is a moderate Democrat, said he got involved in the mayor’s race when he got a call from constituents who told him that he can unite the community. Whitmire said his first response was “no” because he liked the work he was doing in the Senate. But after he thought about all the issues that needed repairing in the city, he said he knew he would be the right person for the job. 

“What I have discovered, it’s not just homeless, illegal dumping and crosswalks, but our streets are in horrible conditions,” Whitmire said.

Whitmire already has huge support from some very important figures, including former Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo and Houston billionaire and philanthropist Tilman Fertitta

“Well I can tell you that public safety to me is near and dear to my heart and I don’t think there’s a member of the legislature that’s worked as hard on common sense reforms and on being practical, affirm but fair, as it relates to keeping people safe,” Acevedo said. 

“John looks at things the right way and isn’t partisan when it comes to making the right decisions,” Fertitta said. “We want to see somebody that can have a true impact on the city.”

Whitmire knows not everyone is a fan.

“There are people that like the way the city is being operated because they are profiting really well,” Whitmire said. “They know if I’m mayor it’s going to be fair, transparent, honest and play no favorites.”

But Whitmire expressed this is not going to hold him back because he believes he’s the only candidate who has the experience and resources to handle major problems when they arise. 

Whitmire is the longest-serving member of the Texas Senate. He was elected to the Texas Senate in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives.

Former Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins, former Houston City Council member Amanda Edwards and businessman Lee Kaplan are also running for Houston mayor. 

Watch Sen. Whitmire’s full campaign announcement in the video player below:

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