More than 83,000 Harris County residents have cast their ballot early for the upcoming election.
Harris County Clerk Teneshia Hudspeth announced Friday that they have seen an almost 50% increase in voters since the last similar election in 2015.
State propositions, bond issues, city council members, city controller, and Houston mayor are up for a vote in Harris County.
State senator John Whitmire, who is running for mayor, casted his ballot at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center on West Gray Saturday. He was joined by US Representative Sylvia Garcia, state senator Carol Alvarado, and Houston city council member Abbie Kamin.
“We have a great city, great people,” Whitmire said after casting his ballot. “There are some expectations at city hall that are not being met. We are going to meet the expectations of the public.”
According to the latest poll released two weeks ago from the Hobby School of Public Affairs at the University of Houston, it shows the mayoral race is ultimately between two candidates: Senator Whitmire and Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee.
The two are expected to go to a runoff, where polling suggests Whitmire would win.
Congresswoman Jackson Lee, who has served in congress since 1995 and before that five years on Houston City Council, has a very strong base of loyal supporters.
On Friday, she campaigned alongside former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo, both of whom have endorsed Jackson Lee, at a rally.
Houston’s next mayor has the ability to appoint department heads, including Houston police chief and Houston fire chief.
Early voting runs through Friday, Nov. 3.
Election day is Nov. 7.