HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Democrat Lina Hidalgo has won a second term for Harris County Judge in a close race for the top executive position in the county.
Her opponent, Republican challenge Alexandra del Moral Mealer, conceded Wednesday morning.
"While we did not accomplish our goal of changing leadership in Harris County, we were successful in elevating the profile of critical issues like the need to appropriately resource our law enforcement and criminal justice system as well as the desire to eliminate corruption and increase transparency in local government," Mealer's campaign said in a statement on Twitter.
WATCH: Harris Co. Judge Lina Hidalgo talks moving forward after winning reelection bid
Full statement from Mealer's campaign:
While we did not accomplish our goal of changing leadership in Harris County, we were successful in elevating the profile of critical issues like the need to appropriately resource our law enforcement and criminal justice system as well as the desire to eliminate corruption and increase transparency in local government. This campaign was always about good government and I am hopeful that we have played a role encouraging that going forward. I am extremely grateful to our supporters and all those who contributed to this campaign. Alexandra is a West Point graduate, a dual-degree holder from Harvard University (JD/MBA), and a proud wife and mother. She is blessed with two precocious toddlers who she is raising alongside her husband Clay, a fellow West Point graduate and combat veteran.
Hidalgo, the incumbent, responded to her win later Wednesday morning.
"Yesterday, the people of Harris County chose optimism over fear & people over politics. I want to thank each & every voter who showed up to make their voice heard this election. I also want to thank Ms. Mealer for a hard-fought campaign & her military service. Onward!" Hidalgo wrote.
Hidalgo plans to speak from the Harris County Democratic Party Headquarters later Wednesday.
On Tuesday night, it was a close call as hundreds of precincts remained uncounted. Shortly before 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, all precincts were reporting at 100%.
Just before midnight, Hidalgo addressed supporters at the Harris County Democratic Party headquarters, claiming an 11,000-vote lead in the early vote totals over Mealer.
"We're cautiously optimistic," Hidalgo said, before a packed crowd of Democratic leaders and supporters.
An hour before, revelers at Mealer's watch party at Kirby Ice House began to dissipate when it became apparent a winner would not be declared Tuesday night.
Gallery Furniture owner Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, who appeared in several television ads endorsing Mealer, showed up just before 11 p.m. Tuesday.
The campaign said a short time later that Mealer was done speaking for the night, and would go home to await the results.
The race for Harris County judge was expected to go down to the wire after a hard-fought campaign to lead the country's third most populous county.
"It's a race that's too close to call," Rice University political science professor Mark Jones said. "Hidalgo still is the favorite, in a sense that she's in a blue county and she has the support of Democratic activists, she hasn't lost that."
Throughout the day Tuesday, we saw enthusiasm as voters turned out to cast a ballot in one of the most watched races in Texas.
The final year of Hidalgo's first term as county judge was marred by controversy. In April, three of Judge Hidalgo's staffers were indicted as part of an investigation into how a smaller firm was awarded an $11 million COVID-19 vaccine outreach contract.
Then last month, Hidalgo was unable to pass a new county tax rate when two Republican county commissioners blocked the vote by repeatedly skipping Commissioners Court.
Mealer, an Army veteran and energy finance advisor, hammered Hidalgo on several issues throughout the campaign, especially on crime.
Mealer said if she was elected, she would aggressively fund the criminal justice system in Harris County, and put an end to what she called a revolving door at the courthouse.