Kingwood Precinct Map

How Kingwood Voted in Whitmire Win

In the 2023 runoff election for Mayor of Houston, John Whitmire won by a landslide. Kingwood voted for Whitmire at much higher rates than the city as a whole. He won 91.4% of the votes in Kingwood – a 10.6 to 1 margin of victory over Sheila Jackson Lee, compared to 1.9 to 1 for the City as a whole.

Most of Undecideds Sided with Whitmire

Whitmire enjoyed a 7% lead over Lee in early polls, but picked up most of the undecideds. He finished with a convincing 65.26% to 34.74% victory, not quite a 2:1 margin.

Citywide, Whitmire won by a margin of 60,275 votes. In Kingwood, he beat Jackson Lee by 8,734 votes – 14.5% of his citywide margin.

That’s remarkable for two reasons.

  • Kingwood has only 3% of the City’s population (about 70,000 out of 2.2 million).
  • Kingwood had 5% of the total voters in the runoff.

Among the City’s 1.2 million registered voters, turnout was a meager 16.92%. But among Kingwood’s 44,000 registered voters, turnout was 23.86% – 7 percentage points higher.

Ten of Kingwood’s 12 precincts had turnout in the top quintile of all precincts.

So, Kingwood had higher turnout than most areas and those who voted preferred Whitmire overwhelmingly.

Meaning of Whitmire Win

Whitmire ran a positive campaign focused on crime, the economy, drainage/infrastructure, city services and bringing Houston together.

Kingwood is traditionally Republican. Kingwood’s overwhelming endorsement of the moderate Democrat may herald a sea change in local politics. Here, in this election, in this place, at this time, voters buried partisan politics and reached across the aisle to support centrist viewpoints that benefit the majority.

Precinct-By-Precinct Rundown

Kingwood has 12 voting precincts.

Kingwood voting precincts. 948 is all commercial and had no registered voters.

Here are the totals for each candidate in each precinct from See how your neighbors voted.

Whitmire vs Lee in Kingwood
PrecinctJ. WhitmireS. J. LeeTotalJW Win %
Kingwood Total9,64190710,54891.4%
Citywide Total128,90868,633197,54165.3%
Kingwood Tallies & Totals vs. Citywide in Whitmire/Lee runoff.

It appears to me that Sheila Jackson Lee’s winner-take-all politics of polarization backfired on her this time. I haven’t yet had time to check other Republican-leaning areas, but in Kingwood, it seems that Republican’s arms didn’t stretch to her extremes.

The Candidate Now Has a Mandate

While Whitmire could have won the City convincingly without Kingwood, he won it dramatically with Kingwood. He will start the job with a broad mandate.

Whitmire still has huge challenges to face. Now comes the hard part of governing a city saddled with debt.

The good news as far as the Lake Houston Gates Project is concerned: funding comes mainly from outside sources and can only be used for gates, according to current Mayor Pro Tem Dave Martin.

And after 50 years in Austin, Whitmire knows how to work across the aisle and only Whitmire made flooding an issue in his campaign.

I hope Whitmire’s win ushers in a new era for the City that gives everyone a seat at the table, not just those on the far left.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/10/23

2294 Days since Hurricane Harvey