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John Whitmire defeats Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee in Houston mayor’s race

Texas state Sen. John Whitmire, a Democrat, was projected to win the Houston mayoral race, beating out a fellow Democrat in a runoff to represent one of the most populous cities in the country.

Whitmire was up against Democratic U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee for the mayor’s seat after the race slipped into a runoff following the Nov. 7 general election.

The state senator was the leader in November, but neither he nor Jackson Lee got the majority needed to clinch the general: Whitmire won 43 percent, while Jackson Lee got 38 percent.

Whitmire, 74, will fill the seat left open by Democrat Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is term-limited.

Houston is the fourth-most populous city in the U.S. and boasts an increasingly young population, some of whom were frustrated by the choice between two candidates in their 70s.

Whitmire and Jackson Lee are both pillars in the state: Whitmire was elected to the Texas Senate back in 1982 after serving 10 years in the Texas House of Representatives, and Lee has been in Congress for nearly 30 years.

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