The results are in for the mayoral runoff election in Houston, TX and despite the vicious attempts to make her homosexuality an issue in the campaign by outsiders and advocates of a "traditional" family, Annise Parker has won. Houston is by far the largest U.S. city to ever elect an openly-gay mayor. She will be succeeding Mayor Bill White, a wildly popular two-term mayor of Houston and current Democratic candidate for Governor of Texas.
With 100% reporting, Annise Parker won the election against Gene Locke 53.6% to 46.4%
Let there be no question about it; if the 4th largest city in the country, which also happens to be in the heart of red Texas, can elect someone based on their merits and not their sexual orientation, there is absolutely hope for the rest of the country.
Statement by Mayor-Elect Parker:
To my Friends, Supporters and all Houstonians,
In this campaign, I met many Houstonians.
I met fathers worried about finding a good job. I met mothers worried about crime. I met young men and women who only want a chance for a good education. Families worried about taxes. Homeowners who just want to protect the neighborhood they love. Hear me: the city is on your side.
I learned about the problems and the needs and the hopes of our city at the neighborhood level, where families work and live. This election has changed the world for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities, just as this election is about transforming Houstonians’ lives for the better.
Let us begin from this moment to join as one community, united in the goal of making Houston the city it could be, should be, can be and will be. That’s what this city will be about under my administration.
Houston is a city that invites entrepreneurs – and shelters evacuees. A diverse city. A city built on dreams powered by hard work, creativity, common sense and cooperation.
Public service is a noble calling, and I appreciate that Gene Locke was willing to answer this call. He is a man who has been deeply involved in our community for many years and I hope he will continue to serve Houston. I wish for him and his family the very best.
Let me close by saying that while this is an exciting night, it is also a humbling experience. Our citizens deserve our best effort and I pledge to give them an administration that values honesty, integrity and transparency above all else. My administration will be concerned with only one interest: the public good.
Thank you so much. Together, we will make a difference.
Though I am a straight male here in H-town, I know how big of a step this is and I hope the LGBT community and its supporters appreciate this bit of good news in an otherwise disheartening year.
A bit about Annise Parker:
She's a Houston native, born on May 17, 1956. She attended Rice University, a prestigious private school in Houston. Prior to running for mayor, Ms. Parker served as a member of the Houston City Council from 1998-2004. She then served as the Controller of Houston from 2004-present. Though the race for Houston mayor is strictly non-partisan, she identifies as a Democrat, as did her opponent, Gene Locke.