Scott Sherman was re-elected to the Pearland City Council on Saturday, keeping the number of openly LGBT city council members in Texas at three.
Sherman, a 37-year-old attorney who specializes in commercial litigation, was elected to a second three-year term in an at-large seat representing the entire city. Pearland (pronounced “pear-land,” like the fruit) is a fast-growing suburb near the Gulf Coast south of Houston that has a population of more than 90,000.
In 2009, Sherman won the seat by just 30 votes in a runoff. This year, he was unopposed, which he called “an amazing thing” given the close race three years ago.
“I think for the last three years I’ve shown the residents that I’m a hard worker, that I’m looking out for them, and I’ve kind of proven myself on being responsive to all the residents, so it paid off,” Sherman said.
Last week we reported that Sherman was the only openly LGBT person running for a council seat in Texas this year. At the time we weren’t aware that Audrey “Tina” Cannon, who’s openly gay, was seeking the Place 5 council seat in Austin. Cannon was one of several candidates challenging incumbent Bill Spelman, who avoided a runoff by capturing 58 percent of the vote on Saturday. Cannon finished third, with 10 percent.
With Cannon’s defeat, Sherman remains one of only three out city council members in Texas, along with Fort Worth’s Joel Burns and Houston’s Mike Laster, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund.
Sherman said he’s heard there was a whisper campaign against him during the runoff in 2009, but other than that his sexual orientation hasn’t been an issue.
“We have a very diverse city and I kind of credit our diversity to some of the reason why it’s never been an issue,” he said.
This year, Sherman was endorsed by the Victory Fund.
Asked why he chooses to run as an out candidate, Sherman said: “It’s important to me for kids out there who are not out to realize that you can do whatever you want and you shouldn’t be ashamed and you shouldn’t have to hide, and if you can be a community leader and you want to put yourself before the voters, then you should do that. And I think we lead by example.”
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