HOUSTON - Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner delivered his annual State of the City address at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in downtown Houston, but just a few floors up in the same hotel, mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee held his rival event called "The Real State of the City."
This was Mayor Turner's fourth State of the City address. While it's a political year, the mayor didn't talk about his re-election campaign. Instead, Turner kicked off his speech by touting the city's unemployment rate saying it's the lowest it's been since 1981 and that new tech jobs are on the horizon.
"The national publications recognize Houston as a smart city, 5G has been deployed, and tech companies now see the added value of expanding in Houston, #SilconBayou," Turner said.
He also touched on issues such as flooding, expanding parks throughout the city, recycling and plans to make Houston's infrastructure better for traffic.
Meanwhile, just a few floors up, mayoral candidate Tony Buzbee painted a very different picture. He says Houston is a mess and focused on Houston's problems with homelessness, stray animals, sex trafficking and overall crime in the city. According to Buzbee, it's all getting worse.
"We have a major crime problem. Houston is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. Our police officers are working hard, and they don't have the resources they need," Buzbee said. "So I was a little disappointed [Mayor Turner] didn't focus on the major issues and the quality of life issues we're all suffering through."
Mayoral candidate and challenger to Buzbee, Bill King, also got involved via Twitter. He live tweeted during Mayor Turner's address and sent out a series of tweets pointing out what he thought were untrue statements.
It's barely May, so we know the political season is far from over. We can certainly expect more events like this to play out again in the future.