Saturday, December 12, 2009

Parker Elected Houston Mayor

By H. Nelson Goodson
December 12, 2009

Texas -Houston residents elect Annise D. Parker Mayor with 81,652 votes 53.62% and challenger Gene Locke received 70,631 votes 46.38% with 99.86% of Precints reporting just after 10:00 p.m in Harris County.
Parker becomes the first woman elected mayor of a major U.S. city who openly admitted she was a Lesbian. Her honesty, integrity, experience, a well run campaign, and persistence to lead Houston paid off. 
A bitter and negative campaign against Parker was waged by those who opposed her alternative sexual preference. The results of the election indicate sexual orientation was not an issue for the majority of voters, but who would do the best job.
Parker a former City Controller congratulated her supporters at her campaign victory gathering and credits the Victory Fund and its donors for raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to help fund her successful campaign. "I am so grateful to the Victory Fund and its supporters for believing in this campaign from the beginning. This race was about the future of Houston, and whether we will face that future proud to be an open, welcoming, and fair-minded city. Tonight Houstonians said yes to a future like that, and I am glad the Victory Fund helped make that happen," Parker said.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund sent out the following press release calling this "a watershed moment in American politics."

Washington, D.C. -Houston, Texas has become the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor after City Controller Annise Parker was declared the winner of a runoff election tonight.  Social conservatives fought her election, funding a campaign aimed at turning out likeminded voters to support her opponent, former city attorney Gene Locke.  But Parker's endorsements from labor, police, women's, gay rights and other groups were echoed by the Houston Chronicle, the area's major daily newspaper, and her campaign ran a superior get-out-the-vote effort.
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which endorsed Parker, said her victory holds tremendous significance for the gay community.  "This is a watershed moment in American politics.  Annise was elected by fair-minded people from across the city because of her experience and competence, and we're glad Houston soundly rejected the politics of division. This victory sends a clear signal that gays and lesbians are an integral part of American civic life, that we're willing to lead, and that voters will respond to candidates who are open and honest about their lives,"  Wolfe said.
Newly elect Mayor Parker's election was the Victory Fund's top political priority in 2009, a year that saw 54 of its 79 endorsed openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) candidates elected to public office.

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