Annise Parker Wins Houston Mayoral Runoff

The voters of Houston have elected their first openly lesbian mayor, making Annise Parker the chief executive of the fourth largest city in the United States.Annise Portrait 2

During her acceptance speech to a packed room of supporters he acknowledged the historic significance of her win.

“This election has changed the world for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and Transgendered community.”

As polls closed at 7pm local Houston time, Parker maintained a slim lead over her runoff opponent Gene Locke.

With all precincts reporting, Parker won the close race taking 53% to Locke’s 46%.

The two Democratic candidates in this non-partisan race differed only slightly on the issues, so their campaigns tried to draw contrasts through their experience.

Parker touted her current role as City Controller as her qualifications for running an efficient city hall.

Locke highlighted his former role as City Attorney and ran as a champion of public safety.

Gene Locke Concedes Houston Mayor's Race

Gene Locke Concedes Houston Mayor's Race

But as the election wound into it’s final days, Parker became the target of conservative attacks on her sexuality.

Anti-gay activists like Steve Hotze blanketed Houston with fliers calling on voters to reject Parker because she was a lesbian.

Hotze’s endorsement of Locke, a long time civil rights crusader, forced Locke into an uncomfortable political situation.

Locke took another hit when it was revealed just days before the election that two key members of his campaign donated $20,000 each to Hotze’s anti-Parker efforts.

During his concession speech Gene Locke congratulated Annise Parker on her win.

“I want to thank Annise Parker, she ran a wonderful race, I am proud that she is now the winner, I congratulate her,” Locke said.

Parker acknowledged Locke’s hard work in the race during her victory speech.

“Public service is a noble calling and I know how much he loves this city, and I know how hard he worked to win this race,” she said about Locke.

Parker With Life Partner Kathy Hubbard

Parker With Life Partner Kathy Hubbard

Parker has been open about her sexuality, and it continued through her victory speech.  As she thanked her supporters she turned to her partner and two children.

“I want to introduce the people who are closest to me who have been going through this campaign with me, but also who will be with me as I take the reigns of the city of Houston, first, the person who has shared my life for the last 19 years Kathy Hubbard.”

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