HOUSTON (AP) — Houston Mayor Annise Parker was elected on Tuesday to a third and final term as the leader of the nation’s fourth largest city.
In a crowded field, Parker got more than 50 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a runoff in December.
She had faced eight challengers, with the strongest being former Houston city attorney Ben Hall, who had largely bankrolled his own campaign.
Parker told supporters Tuesday evening that her administration will continue to be inclusive, transparent and accountable.
“I never promised to go to City Hall to solve all our problems,” Parker said. “But I have always promised to open the doors to City Hall to bring as many of us together as possible so we can work on our problems together.”
Parker was first elected in 2009. She won her second term in 2011 in a close election in which she held off five challengers. Term limits prevent Parker from running for a fourth term.
During Parker’s administration, Houston weathered the recent recession better than most major cities and in various surveys Houston has been named as one of the best cities to live in.
With Parker’s re-election, Houston, which has about 2.1 million residents, continues to be the largest city in the United States led by an openly gay person.
During her campaign, Parker touted her administration’s work in balancing the city’s budget during the recession without raising taxes and without laying off police and firefighters. She also said Houston’s overall crime rate is down 8 percent compared to the three years prior to 2010.
Hall had charged that Houston has become less safe and less economically sound under Parker’s administration.
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