Houston mayor's State of the City and rival's event held in same building

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- In front of a packed crowd of around 1,500, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner gave his fourth State of the City address.

The mayor, in the middle of a heated election season, did not speak about the campaign. Instead, he focused on issues such as flooding, parks, and bringing high tech jobs to Houston.

"We're building one complete city, and when we work together we win," Turner told the audience, comprised mostly of members of the Greater Houston Partnership. "I'm proud to report to you today that the state of our city is strong, resilient and sustainable, and the best for us as a city has yet to come."

Turner rattled off a list of accomplishments, including reduction in unfunded pension obligations, 10,000 summer jobs, and new tech jobs on the horizon. He also challenged the business community in the room to find 50 companies to adopt 50 neighborhood parks and make long lasting improvements.

HEB's Scott McClelland, who was interviewing Turner, pledged his company will adopt a park, with 49 more to go.

But this being an election year, politics is never too far away. In fact, two floors down in the same Marriott Marquis hotel, mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee held what he touted as the 'real' state of the city speech. The vision the prominent attorney painted was much darker.

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"You want to know what the state of the city is? Our city is a state of mess," Buzbee told supporters.

Buzbee also claimed that the city's crime is on the rise, and spent several minutes recounting the details of the botched Harding Street no-knock raid.

"Don't tell me crime is going down when everyone knows Houston is one of the most dangerous cities in the United States," Buzbee said at one point, citing 'many' sources, though not mentioning one specifically.

What did State of the City attendees think of Buzbee holding a campaign event in the same building?

"On the one perspective, I think it's disrespectful," said attendee Sonny Messiah-Jiles, head of the Defender Media Group. "On the other side, you can say it's smart. He's trying to capitalize on the people that are here."

Fellow mayoral challenger Bill King stayed away from the fray, saying he can get his point across without the need for a flashy event.

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Instead, King tweeted live responses to Turner's speech, pointing out what he thought were untruths and misleading statements.

"Tony is a trial lawyer and he likes the attention," King said. "I'm basically a nerd and I like to get things done, prepared to go do the job."

King also responded via a Facebook Live statement after Turner's speech. He was more positive about Houston's future than fellow mayoral hopeful Buzbee.

"We have a great city, we all agree we have a great city, but we have a city government that's not living up to the greatness of that city," King said.

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