The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund is calling it for Parker. Congratulations mayor-elect Parker!
Houston voters tonight have chosen an out lesbian as their next mayor, making the city the largest in the U.S. to elect an openly LGBT chief executive.
Annise Parker, who was endorsed by the Victory Fund, won her runoff election against Gene Locke, a former city attorney, after a year-long campaign that drew national attention both because of the potential for a history-making outcome and because of coordinated anti-gay campaigns designed to prevent her victory.
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, said the win was significant not just for Houston, but for all LGBT Americans. “This is a watershed moment in American politics. One of the largest cities in the country will be headed by an out lesbian, chosen by people who voted for her because of her experience and competence. Houston rejected the politics of division and the extremists failed,” Wolfe said. “After a bittersweet political year for the LGBT community, it’s nice to be able to smile this wide.”
Parker thanked the Victory Fund: “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.”
Wolfe also thanked the Houston’s GLBT Political Caucus, which was once headed by Parker. “The GLBT Political Caucus put a lot of hard work into this election, and nobody wanted this win more than they did. It’s a great organization, and they deserve our thanks and appreciation,” Wolfe said.
From Annise herself:
Thank You Houston
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.