Annise Parker avoided a runoff and easily beat former city attorney Ben Hall tonight in her final re-election race.
"I love this city," Parker told a cheering crowd after Hall conceded at about 9 p.m. At that point, with about a third of the precincts counted, Parker had 57 percent of the vote to Hall's 28 percent.
Parker won her third and final two-year term as mayor; term limits will bar her running in 2015. She rode into office on a wave of global publicity as the the first out gay or lesbian to run such a large American city, and many of the media stories chronicling her victory discussed how it had shattered stereotypes about Houston.
But her administration has not been without its bumps. She is widely considered to have bungled a long-running controversy over red-light cameras, and opponents balked at what they called a "flood tax" that funds drainage projects.
Hall, who was city attorney for Mayor Bob Lanier in the 1990s, spent much of the campaign defending himself against allegations he hadn't paid all of his school-district taxes. Parker's ads hammered him for allegedly not supporting education or hard-working apple-pie teachers.
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