DALLAS — In an effort to defuse a whisper campaign about his sexual orientation, a member of the Texas State Board of Education has acknowledged in an email to media organizations that he is gay.
George Clayton (R-Richardson), who took office in January after defeating a longtime incumbent and now faces re-election next year as a result of recent re-drawing of boundaries for the board’s 15 positions, said that political rivals — members of the Golden Corridor Republican Women’s Club — had circulated emails questioning his sexuality and living arrangements, reported the Dallas Morning News.
“To avoid the tyranny of misinformation and innuendo in this political race, I wish to say that I, in fact, do have a male partner who lives with me in my home in Richardson, Texas,” Clayton wrote in an email sent to media organizations.
He blamed Geraldine “Tincy” Miller of Dallas, whom Clayton unseated last year and who is expected to run again for the seat, for raising the issue. Miller has denied any involvement.
“I hope this frank announcement satisfies Tincy Miller and the ladies associated with the Golden Corridor organization,” Clayton wrote. “All of us can now move on with discussions concerning education instead of being overly preoccupied with my personal life.”
According to the Texas Freedom Network, Clayton’s announcement was prompted by a recent email from Susan Fletcher, president of the Golden Corridor organization, in which she suggested to members that Clayton’s personal life “needs to be investigated.”
“What are his living arrangements in Richardson? With whom does he live? It’s not appropriate to comment further — but this needs to be investigated,” she wrote.
Clayton becomes the first known openly gay Republican elected official in Texas history.