Tribpedia: Bill White

William Howard "Bill" White, born in San Antonio in 1954, is a politician and third-term mayor of Houston, the fourth most-populous city in the country. He is the Democratic nominee for Texas governor in the 2010 general election against incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Perry

A former trial lawyer, federal agency executive and businessman, White was elected as mayor in December 2003, winning with 63 percent of the vote in a runoff against current Harris County Treasurer Orlando Sanchez. He was subsequently reelected in 2005 and 2007 by large majorities — 91 percent and 86 percent, respectively.

Because of the city's term limits, White is leaving office in January 2010. He abandoned a campaign for the U.S. Senate in December to enter the governor's race.

Before serving as mayor, White was a deputy secretary at the U.S. Department of Energy during the administration of former president Bill Clinton. He formerly was a lawyer at the Susman Godfrey law firm.

He is a graduate of Harvard University and the University of Texas School of Law.

White is a recipient of the "Profile in Courage" award for his "courageous and decisive leadership in addressing the human misery and ruin caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005," according to the John F. Kennedy Library Foundation. He also was named Governing magazine's Public Official of the Year for 2007.

White has generally enjoyed popularity as mayor, but the Houston Police Department's red-light camera, freeway towing and immigration policies have been sources of controversy during his tenure.

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Former Houston Mayor Bill White