Houston Mayoral Race: Run-off for Buzbee and Turner


Ilsa Qureshi, reporter

On Nov. 5, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Tony Buzbee, Kendall Baker, and Bill King competed for the position of Houston mayor. The Houston city mayor is responsible for resolving major issues affecting the greater Houston area. Mayor Turner’s four year tenure has ended. Across Houston polling stations voters lined up expecting to know their answer, however, because no candidate accumulated the 49 percent majority needed to declare an outright winner,  Turner and Buzbee will participate in a runoff Dec. 15. 


Sylvester Turner – Incumbent 

Sylvester Turner, the current city mayor has already accomplished many tasks during his four years in office.  These accomplishments include balancing Houston’s budgets, reforming the city’s pension system, easing traffic congestion, filling potholes, creating jobs, and strengthening the economy, and leading the recovery efforts after Hurricane Harvey. Those recovery efforts had direct impact on Emery students. Senior Alex Kourchev  rigorously volunteered for the campaign.

“I really buy into [Turners] vision,” Kourchev said. “I think [Turner] has done a good job with handling hurricane Harvey… given the circumstances he has faced.”  Like Kourchev, Sophomore Alex Savistski believes that Turner has done great work and should stay in office. “Over Turners time in office Houston conditions have improved,” Savistski said. “For example, public transport has improved, … education has gone up, living conditions for many have improved.” Although many Emery students are confident in their assessment of Turner, some need more information.

“I think [Turner] is doing a good job,” Sophomore Sophie Kalmin stated, “however I am uneducated about the qualifications of the other candidates.”


Kendall Baker

Kendall Baker has been a Houstonian for 25 years.   Baker claims his main priority is the interest of the common people.  Baker, a retired City of Houston employee, served as division manager of the Administration and Regulatory Affairs Department, 311 Help and Information Center, and  was an insurance adjuster. He founded the Christ Solid International Church in 2013 and serves as a senior pastor there. 


Tony Buzbee

Tony Buzbee believes he is is the independent voice for all residents of Houston, whether Republican or Democrat. Buzbee believes corruption is creating inefficiency in Houston’s government. He has pledged to self-fund his campaign and proposed independent financial audits, process audits, and zero-based budgeting to improve the efficiency and transparency of the city’s resource allocation. 


A majority of Emery students had no knowledge about the upcoming elections. Sophomore Hayden Deutsch knew the elections were “going on”, but knew nothing else on the topic. Sophomore Noa Strauss was honest about why she isn’t following the election. “ I think [the election] is important since they impact the city I live in,” she explained. However, this isn’t enough of a reason for her to be involved. “I honestly don’t pay much attention to the Houston city elections.”