December 12th, 2009
08:00 AM ET
7 months ago

Houston runoff could elect city's first gay mayor

(CNN) – The city of Houston could elect its first openly gay mayor in Saturday's election runoff, according to a new poll, which would make it the largest city in the country to elect an openly gay mayor.

City Controller Anise Parker leads attorney Gene Locke by 13 points, 49 percent to 36 percent according to the latest poll put out by Rice University in Houston. Fifteen percent of likely voters questioned said they were unsure who they would vote for.

Parker and Locke, who are both Democrats, face off for the second time Saturday because neither emerged with more than 50 percent of the vote in the November 3 election.

The poll, conducted December 7-9, has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.7 percent.


Filed under: Mayoral races
soundoff (37 Responses)
  1. S Callahan ..make your life better read Psalm 51

    I'm sorry, maybe I missed something here ..but if he is qualified to lead by his knowledge of the needs of the city, please tell me why it's important to point out his sexuality. Does this mean that the next straight candidate will get the same titling..mention of his sexuality?

    I am a Christian..no shame for me...and love everyone...though I stand with what the Lord says in his word. Either way, we are ALL God's children, and each of us has specific gifts...perhaps this man does have a gift to lead..then it will be.

    December 12, 2009 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  2. Paul in San Anton

    To Rodney in Dallas. No. In Texas (even your Dallas) city elections are technically nonpartisan. There are no party primaries and no one declares and qualifies for the ballot by party preference. The media, however, continues to insist every candidate have a party preference and if a mayoral candidate has every voted in either party primary, they assume that that candidate is an "R" or a "D." Both of these 'nonpartisan' candidates for mayor of Houston have, in the past, been associated with the Democratic party and, so, by default, are identified as Democrats.

    December 12, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  3. Old Farmboy

    A gay mayor can do the job, if qualified, as well as a straight on. My only concern is it turning into a soapbox for gay rights activists.

    December 12, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  4. gary davis proud to be an american harbor oregon

    lets see if Huston cares about who will do the best job and not about who is gay or not
    kinda sounds like they don't care with the vote being so close in Nov.
    makes me proud to see sociaty not having so many issues with who you are but what can you do :)

    December 12, 2009 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  5. ig0at

    I find it interesting that the gender of Ms.(?) Parker is never mentioned. I assume from the local letters that she is a Woman, but one can't tell that from the article. "Anise", with a short "A", is a pretty, feminine name. "Anise", with a long "A", sounds like it could be the name taken by a gay man. i doubt that individual would get elected, tho...

    Just sayin'.

    December 12, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  6. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Getting the job done has nothing to do with ones lifestyle because there is no litmus test for gender qualifications because Houston deserves the best. Mayor Bill White was the best and here's hoping he will be the next Governor of Texas, the one we have has got to go.

    December 12, 2009 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  7. rita

    For those of you who think that this has something to do with a new spirit of tolerance in Texas, think again. This has nothing to do with progress in Texas. This is a completely isolated race voted on by urban citizens in a very diverse and open city. The diversity of people from all over the world is unique to this Texas city and this openly gay candidate has every possibility to win. Texas is still overwhelmingly conservative to the core. Urban Houston holds a small pocket of free thinkers who will actually vote for issues and not someones affiliation with some religious institution.

    December 12, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  8. Sick of politics

    Don't do it you will end up a sad joke as Portland Oregon has. Learn from the errors of others do not repeat them. The gay movement has made San Francisco a much better place – yea right!

    December 12, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  9. Michael

    For those who find her sexual orientation surprising, don't be. The major cities in Texas (Dallas, Austin, Houston, San Antonio) are very liberal in make up. Although more-so Austin and Dallas than Houston. These cities voted democratic in the previous two national elections. For those who find it surprising that we could elect a democrat don't know much of their Texas history. Historically, the democratic party dominated this state. They didn't lose their power in the state legislature until the mid-1990s.

    December 12, 2009 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  10. mjm

    Spectacular!

    How gay is she?

    December 12, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  11. This could be a trick by Democrats to grab power in Texas' greatest city

    This could be a trick by Democrats to grab power in Texas' greatest city...

    and we have, it has all been a plot first we painted our selves black down south, then we dressed in rainbow colors and high heels in San Francisco

    It has been a long road to pull the wool over the electorate's eyes, but alas our triumph is arriving

    December 12, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  12. Kyle

    I don't get a vote because I don't live in Houston city limits anymore, but from my perspective the race here really hasn't been about her sexual orientation she has made a point not to make a big deal about it. This has been a little irksome to the gay community but endeared her to. The rest of the community. To his credit I also haven't heard Locke bring it up. Having said that the commercials have been pretty vicious on both sides. Also, for those who think that the Houston mayoral race means that conservative Texas is changed, think again. We're talking inner Houston. Very different politically than the suburbs or the majority of the state. It's much more politically like a typically more liberal big city.

    December 12, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
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