Bill King remains hopeful as early voting results roll in

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Houston mayoral candidate Bill King was all smiles as he greeted his supporters during his Election Night party Tuesday.

Polls are now closed, and early numbers show Mayor Sylvester Turner substantially leading the race with 49 percent of the votes.

Challenger Tony Buzbee is trailing him at 29 percent, and King follows at 13 percent.

WATCH: King greets supports at Election Night party
EMBED More News Videos

Bill King remains hopeful although he's down in early voting polls

Before any additional precincts had been reported, King made a statement to supporters that acknowledged his current third-place finish, but stopped short of conceding the election.

It was an emotional speech, one that he said nearly brought him to tears. It appears his second bid for Houston's top seat will come up short again.

RELATED: Bill King waits for sea change in mayoral election

King gave us his reaction to what took place.

"I do think the results indicate that we're living in a time when hyper-partisan, strident voices are prevailing," King said. "That's certainly what these initial results indicate. I don't think that's good for the city. I don't think that's good for the country, and it's something that ultimately can't prevail."

King said he's waiting for the results to come in before he makes any concession plans, which he says could be Wednesday.

With fewer people voting this year, King hoped that people would remember voting for him in 2015, when he came about 4,000 votes short of winning the runoff election against Turner.

MEET THE CANDIDATES: Get to know the people running to lead the city of Houston

Follow Nick Natario on Facebook and Twitter.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.