Sullivan Cautiously Claims Victory In County Tax Office Race

After a nail-biter of an election night, Houston City Councilman Mike Sullivan says he's cautiously declaring victory in the race to be Harris County's next tax assessor-collector.

With Election Day votes counted, Sullivan holds a 2,500 vote lead over Democrat Ann Harris Bennett.

At one point election night, only 200 votes separated the two candidates. Now Sullivan says he’s looking forward to his new job, although he’s still cautious.

“We have five more days of the possibility of military ballots being counted. There are a number of provisional ballots that have to be reviewed. So it is not a victory cast in stone, but I am a veteran of the process and have run a number of races, and I feel much better right now than I did 10 hours ago.”

Earlier this year, Sullivan announced he was stepping down as a councilman, effective January 1st. Now he says he’s ready to run the tax office as a business, with 375 employees and 16 branch offices.

“I’m not anticipating going in and making drastic changes. I’m not going to go in and fire people. I’m not going to throw a grenade in there and blow the thing up. I want to go in and meet with the employees first and foremost and talk to them about how I want the office to run and how I want it to be perceived by the public that I’m elected to serve and that they’re sworn to serve as well.”

Sullivan will replace current Tax Assessor Don Sumners, who lost in the primary. Sullivan expects to start his new job January 2nd.