Bill King enters Houston mayor race: "We've got a show pony at city hall, we need a work horse."

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Bill King was less than 4,000 votes away from winning the election four years ago, and thinks he's found a recipe for success this time around.

He is a life-long Houstonian who wants to give back to the city that gave him so much.

"There's a saying in the African-American community that you learn, you earn, and then you return," he said in an interview with Eyewitness News. "And I think that's a good rule to live by. "

At one of his nine campaign kick-off events, which he's holding all over the city, King told his supporters he wants city hall to get back to the basics -- trash pick-up, good roads and neighborhood policing. He thinks it's all possible within the revenue the city currently collects.

"You're telling me on a $5 billion budget you don't think we can find five percent efficiencies and waste down there?" King said. "It's being (used) so perfectly that we can't find five percent? That's $250 million a year. We can do a lot with $250 million."

King lost to current Mayor Sylvester Turner in a run-off in 2015. The gap was less than 4,000 votes. King said he's learned a lot from the experience and is ready to lead in 2020.

"I'm a numbers guy, as you know," King said, "and so we've looked at those numbers a lot. And we think there's a real clear strategy on how to close that gap."

King joins the incumbent Turner and Houston attorney Tony Buzbee in the race for mayor. Buzbee announced his candidacy last week.

Election day is Nov. 5, 2019.

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