With Houston's mayoral candidates already airing television ads, this year's race is shaping up to be the most expensive ever.
According to 2015 campaign finance reports, Mayor Sylvester Turner spent roughly $4.3 million to eventually win a runoff in 2015. With four declared challengers, it will likely take a lot more than that this time around.
“I'll go so far as to say this will set a record,” says Dr. Robert Stein, fellow in urban politics at Rice University's Baker Institute. “Obviously there are more candidates, so they'll be spending more. But even on a per candidate basis, you've got as many as four candidates who will have significant amounts of money.”
“The mayor is now raising money for a runoff. He's claiming he can win the general, but he's raising money for the runoff.”
How that money is spent will look a lot different than years past.
“I would expect that TV and radio ads will be a little less severe. They're more for the older set,” says Stein. “To reach newly emerging younger voters, probably under 45, you're going to see not large expenditures, but very effective expenditures in the social media.”