Turner in the lead over Buzbee for Houston mayor

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- The question as to whether Mayor Sylvester Turner will win a second term without a runoff remained unanswered early Wednesday morning as election judges and workers at the county clerk's office continued to count the votes.

A last-minute change by the Texas Secretary of State's Office has delayed the results of the election.

Turner needed to win 50 percent plus one vote to avoid a runoff. As of 1:25 a.m. Wednesday, he had 47% of the vote to challenger Tony Buzbee's 29% percent, with 25% of precincts reporting.

Harris County Clerk Diane Trautman's office told ABC13 Eyewitness News that vote tabulations could go past 4 a.m. Earlier Tuesday night, Trautman said she had hoped to have the vote tally wrapped up by 2 a.m.

Regardless of when the numbers come in, Turner said the numbers were a positive sign he can win re-election, and credited taking decisive action and a strong economy for helping him lead the vote.

"I've had 10 million plus dollars in negative ads spent against us, and yet the voters pretty much rejected that, which is good for our city," Turner said.

Buzbee showed confidence late Tuesday however, telling cautiously optimistic supporters he would ultimately win in a runoff against Turner.

One Buzbee supporter we spoke with, Gilbert Garcia, told ABC13 he is feeling really good that the mayor will not run away with the race.

Garcia added that once Turner and Buzbee enter the runoff, they will re-approach the campaign.

"We're going to be rolling out our plan, because we need to be a little bit more specific on things we're going to do," Garcia said.

Bill King, who narrowly lost the mayoral race against Turner four years ago, trailed Buzbee for much of the night. As of 1:25 a.m., he was at 13 percent of the vote.

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

Fourth-place finisher Dwight Boykins said he would not be conceding the race Tuesday night.
RELATED LINKS:
Election Day 2019: What to know about runoff elections in Texas

Houston mayor hoping for home run at ballot box
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