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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Turner, Bell come out on top at Houston mayoral debate

The most memorable topics in a debate are usually the most controversial.

Last Friday, Houston’s mayoral candidates answered questions previously submitted by the audience on topics most important to Houstonians such as the economy, crime, immigration, infrastructure and the new open carry gun law.

The candidates featured in the debate were democratic candidates Marty McVey, Chris Bell, Sylvester Turner , Ben Hall, Adrian Garcia and republican candidates Stephen Costello and Bill King.

Each of the candidates revealed their strengths and weaknesses at this debate while two candidates stood out from the rest.

The first topic discussed was Houston’s economy, and Garcia had a strong start.

He said he lists to businessmen and constituents, which is something all citizens want: politicians who listen.

But it became clear that Garcia has listened to his critics too. After briefly addressing the economy, Garcia used his extra time to discuss his time as sheriff in what sounded like a defense of his qualifications as a mayoral candidate.

Debates are a time for candidates to discuss the issues as well as controversies. But using time that could’ve been used to discuss the economy at the beginning of the debate made Garcia seem unsure of himself despite the fact he said he was proud of his time as sheriff.

Almost all the candidates called for an increase in the number of police officers and police presence in the city. But, many believed that much more could be done.

Turner outlined a plan that would increase the number of police, and he said that he would seek to increase community policing. He also boldly announced that he was endorsed by every police organization in the city and county. Which is true, as the Houston Police Officers’ Union officially enforced Turner in April.

The opinions surrounding crime and HERO were not only the most memorable, but also reflective of Houstonians’ own struggles to find solutions to society’s biggest problems.

The two candidates that left the most lasting impression were Turner and Bell. But polls show that Turner and Garcia lead the race.

We can only hope that Houstonians will pick the best leader for our city, but I believe that the best and the worst of each candidate was revealed at the debate. Perceptive audience members will use the knowledge they gained to decide who they vote for in the following weeks.

Assistant opinion editor Sarah Kim is a political science major senior and may be reached at [email protected] 


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