Houston Becomes Largest US City to Elect Openly Gay Mayor (Annise Parker) Not That there is Anything Wrong with That
Houston, Texas has become the largest US city in America to elect an openly gay mayor … Ala Seinfeld, “not that there is any thing wrong with that”. Hopefully, she will be a Mayor for all Houstonians and her sexual preference will not make a difference whatsoever.
Houston became the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor on Saturday night, as voters gave a solid victory to the city controller, Annise Parker.
Cheers and dancing erupted at Ms. Parker’s campaign party as her opponent, Gene Locke, a former city attorney, conceded defeat just after 10 p.m. when it became clear he could not overcome her lead.
With all precincts reporting, Ms. Parker, the city controller, had defeated Mr. Locke 53 percent to 47 percent.
Throughout the campaign, Ms. Parker tried to avoid making an issue of her sexual orientation and emphasized her experience in overseeing the city’s finances. But she began her career as an advocate for gay rights in the 1980s, and it was lost on no one in Houston, a city of 2.2 million people, that her election marked a milestone for gay men and lesbians around the country.
With such a low turnout in an off year special election it is hard to draw any conclusions from this election. According to reports, only a dismal 16% of registered voters turned out to vote. With only 16% of voter turnout, it will be interesting to see what happens in a mayoral election in a normal election cycle. I would second the comment that Outside the Beltway made that more people in Houston know the name of the head coach of the Houston Texans that they do their newly elected mayor.
Question, is an openly gay elected individual not the Mayor of all people? Will Annise Parker govern with a bias toward gays vs. heterosexuals? If so, she will last one term. Was Parker was elected on with a low turnout and a motivated gay and lesbian base?
“This election has changed the world for the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community. Just as it is about transforming the lives of all Houstonians for the better, and that’s what my administration will be about,” Parker told supporters after Locke conceded defeat.
Parker, 53, has never made a secret or an issue of her sexual orientation. But it became the focus of the race after anti-gay activists and conservative religious groups endorsed Locke and sent out mailers condemning Parker’s “homosexual behavior.”
“Tonight the voters of Houston have opened the doors to history,” she said. “I acknowledge that. I embrace that. I know what this win means to many of us who thought we could never achieve high office. I know what it means. I understand, because I feel it, too. But now, from this moment, let us join as one community. We are united in one goal in making this city the city that it can be, should be, might be, will be.”