Election 2020

Kevin Cole Becomes Pearland’s First New Mayor In More Than Two Decades

Cole will replace 95-year-old Tom Reid, who has served as mayor of Pearland for most of the past 42 years.

Former City Council member Kevin Cole has been elected as the new mayor of Pearland, replacing 95-year-old Tom Reid, who held the position for most of the past 42 years, making him one of the longest-serving mayors in the country.

Cole secured 56.7% of the vote in Brazoria County with all 46 polling locations reporting, as of about 10 pm Tuesday night.

“Pearland, thank you for the support and confidence to be the next Mayor of this great City,” Cole wrote on Facebook. “I look forward to serving all the citizens our City. I want to have a City where we can Live, Work, Play, and Pray.”

Though officially a nonpartisan race, Cole was supported by the Republicans and faced off against former parks and recreation board chairman Quentin Wiltz, who gained support from the Democrats.

In a Facebook live video last night Wiltz said he was thankful for the opportunity to run.

“There’s always an opportunity for change. Especially in people’s hearts and leadership and we’ll hold Mr. Cole accountable, make sure that he represents this city to the best of his abilities, and truly represents us, because that’s what democracy’s about – holding our leadership accountable,” he said.

Key issues in the race included infrastructure — particularly transportation and drainage — and the economic impact of COVID-19.

Quentin Wiltz, left, ran against Kevin Cole, right, in the race for mayor of Pearland.

The mayoral race was originally slated for May, but was moved to November due to the pandemic. Analysts thought this would likely lead to an increase in turnout and interest in the race.

“You have a much higher turnout than you would normally see for a city election, and that likely means a much more diverse electorate in a place like Pearland, which has grown and changed considerably in recent years,” Democratic political consultant Keir Murray previously told Houston Public Media.

Brazoria County, where most of the city is located, has long voted Republican. But Pearland itself has tilted Democratic in recent election cycles, in no small part because of its increasing diversity.

Share

Andrew Schneider

Andrew Schneider

Politics and Government Reporter

Andrew heads Houston Public Media’s coverage of national, state, and local elections. He also reports on major policy issues before the Texas Legislature and county and city governments across Greater Houston. Before taking up his current post, Andrew spent five years as Houston Public Media’s business reporter, covering the oil...

More Information