Texan lawmaker John Whitmire surpasses Sheila Jackson Lee to become the new mayor of Houston

The former state senator will take on the major challenge of leading the fourth-largest city in the United States in the midst of a budget, insecurity and infrastructure crisis.

Houston has a new mayor. The now-former Texas senator John Whitmire defeated representative Sheila Jackson Lee in the second round, becoming the leader of the fourth most populous city in the United States.

The challenge for Whitmire is enormous, as he inherits a city that faces great challenges of absolute urgency, such as the crime crisis, the deterioration of infrastructure and potential budget deficits.

Despite its different crises, Houston has had a population growth surge in the last decade, positioning it as a bastion of expansion for the Democrats of Texas, a red state par excellence.

Whitmire and Jackson Lee, both Democrats, had already faced each other in the November 7 elections, where 18 candidates participated and Whitmire led Jackson Lee by nine percentage points.

Whitmire's victory is impressive because Jackson Lee earned the support of several Democratic figures, including outgoing Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

However, Whitmire, according to AdImpact, raised more money and spent millions on ads on radio stations, a strategy that Jackson Lee abandoned.

According to records, Whitmire spent more than $2 million on ads since November, while Jackson Lee spent just over $60,000.

Likewise, the former senator also benefited from a scandal at the end of October that surrounded Jackson Lee's campaign after audio came to light in which the congresswoman reprimanded a staff member for not having located a specific document.