Houston’s openly gay city controller has pulled ahead in the race to be mayor of the nation’s fourth largest city, just two days before a runoff election, according to a new poll — despite a wave of anti-gay attacks.
A Zogby poll commissioned by The Houston Chronicle and released earlier this week has Parker in the lead with 41.9 percent over her opponent Gene Locke at 36.4 percent.
Earlier this week, the Houston Chronicle reported that the finance chairman and a finance committee member of Locke’s campaign helped bankroll the conservative political action committee that sent out an anti-gay mailer targeting Parker and other municipal candidates earlier this month, according to Texas Ethics Commission documents.
The revelation immediately drew accusations of illegal coordination from the campaign of Parker, whom the mailer urged voters not to choose because she was endorsed by the “gay and lesbian political caucus.”
In another mailing this week, Houstonians received this postcard from longtime anti-gay activist Dave Wilson, promting a vote for Locke is a vote for traditional marriage:
Catch the finer print on the reverse side that reads:
On December 12, we can stand up and fight for the Traditional Family and marriage (one man one woman) or allow the radical homosexual activists (with their out of state money) elect a lesbian for mayor.
Last month, Wilson sent out 35,000 fliers, the front of which carried a 2004 photo of Parker being sworn into office as city controller while her partner, Kathy Hubbard, looks on, accompanied by the headline: “Is this the image Houston wants to portray?” On the back is written, “Just because Annise Parker is a lesbian doesn’t make her qualified to be mayor of Houston.”
KHOU-TV reports that Wilson, an electrician by trade, says Parker should not be mayor because “homosexual behavior leads to extinction.”
The mayoral run-off election is Saturday, December 12.