Stonewall president says Democrat has a chance in November election, would be supportive voice in Legislature on GLBT issues
Democrat Katy Hubener’s loss to Republican Kirk England in the special election held Tuesday to fill the House seat of a member who resigned was a blow to GLBT Texans, who had hoped to gain a supporter in the Legislature.
England won with a 350-vote margin. The republican pulled 2,788 votes to Hubener’s 2.438. Libertarian cadidate Gene Freeman got 48 votes.
The three are expected to face off again in the November general election.
Governor Rick Perry had called the special election to replace Republican Ray Allen, a seven-term incumbent who retired at the end of 2005. Perry said it was necessary to fill the seat before the November general election because he plans to call a special session this spring to deal with school finance reform.
Hubener, who lost a close race to Allen in 2004, had been endorsed by Stonewall Democrats of Dallas.
Michael Moon, Stonewall president, said Hubener’s loss was “a very sad thing.”
“Katy’s issues resonate with the voters. She wants to go to Austin and talk about the important issues, education and tax reform and property tax issues,” Moon said. “Kirk England has said flat out he has no idea what he’s going to do in Austin, and that he only ran because he is going to be an empty-nester soon.”
Moon said anyone who doubts the importance of a single legislative race need only look at the history of House Joint Resolution 6 in the 2005 session to see how vital one vote can be.
HJR 6 was eventually adopted by the Legislature and put on the November ballot as Proposition 2, a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage and civil unions. Voters approved the amendment by a 3-to-1 margin.
“HJR 6 needed 100 votes to ever get out of the House. It got 100 votes exactly. If we had had Katy Hubener or Donna Howard or Andy Smith in the House last year, that amendment never would have made it on the ballot,” Moon said.
Howard, a Democrat, won a special election last month for a House seat in Travis County. Smith is a Dallas County gay Democrat running for the statehouse.
Moon said he believes Hubener will make the most of her second chance at representing District 106 in the November election.
“Katy is one of the strongest leaders we have in the Democratic Party. Hopefully, she will shake this off and move on,” he said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 3, 2006.