We Ran Out Of Time, How Tony Buzbee Almost Won Mayor
by Gary Polland on December 27, 2019 at 11:37 AM
I recently had a front row seat in the City of Houston runoff race between Sylvester Turner and Tony Buzbee.
After Round One, Turner led Buzbee by 16.5 points, winning the first round 44.59% to 28.38% with turnout in Houston, Harris County at 22.56%. Add in Fort Bend County Houston - 3,081 votes Turner, 74.12%, Buzbee 210 votes, 5.05%.
After Round Two, Turner won with 56.04% to Buzbee's 43.96% of the vote. The turnout was 18.67%. Add in Fort Bend County - 3,029 votes Turner, 93.39%, Buzbee 252, 7.68%, note the lack of drop off.
The Buzbee campaign recovered and lost the runoff by 12 points. The trend was positive on Election Day December 14, 2019, and Buzbee, with more time, could have closed the gap.
In the runoff, the voters finally got to see the real Tony, a truly non-partisan figure who passionately believes in innovative public policy solutions to our problems. Should it matter he donated to Bill Clinton, Barack Obama and Donald Trump? No, it's actually an advantage because it showed he could work with all parties.
Buzbee released plans to deal with fixing Houston streets, flooding, crime and corruption and developed a 100-day plan to get Houston moving again. Turner by contrast, had no agenda on his website and hid the last two weeks of the campaign, avoiding two debates and a joint appearance on Newsmakers on Channel 2.
The voters, the ones who actually voted (less than one in five), re-elected Turner.
In a race where Buzbee was left with no chance, he rebooted his campaign with new leadership that let Buzbee be Buzbee.
Buzbee just ran out of time. If his campaign from the spring would have had a similar message, he would have won and the City of Houston would have been the biggest winner of all.
Tony Buzbee learned a lot in his first real political race and it says here he has a future politically, if he is interested.