Houston Mayor

With Election Day Around The Corner, Houston’s Mayoral Campaigns Once Again Spending Big

Houston’s last campaign finance reports before the election show Adrian Garcia spent far more than his competitors.

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Panelists on stage
Seven Houston mayoral candidates participated in the HOU Decide debate on Saturday, Oct. 17, 2015 at Houston Public Media.

Former Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia spent almost $1.1 million in the last four weeks, far more than his competitors in the race for Houston mayor.

Rice University political scientist Bob Stein suspects Garcia was initially hoping to save his money for the expected runoff.

But according to the latest polls, he's no longer a sure pick.

"It's clear he is in competition probably with Bill King for that runoff spot," Stein said. "And he needs to spend some money."

Council member Steve Costello came in second, spending almost $732,000. Bill King spent about 573,000.

Stein said the candidates who have a shot at the runoff are more or less "all in" now.

"These two, maybe three candidates are going to put everything they've got into getting the turnout that they need and the support," he said. "They'll leave very little on the table. You don't want to say that you saved some money for the runoff that you didn't get into."

Frontrunner Sylvester Turner, who polls show is a safe bet for the runoff, spent $626,000 in the last month.

Stein said Turner is likely working on mobilizing his base, so that enough of his voters come out during the runoff, which traditionally has lower turnout.

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