It’s official: In a huge, long-awaited victory for the LGBT community in Texas, Mary Gonzalez is set to become the state’s’ first openly LGBT legislator since 2003.
With 27 of 27 precincts reporting in El Paso’s House District 75, Gonzalez received 53 percent of the vote, or 1,552, to Hector Enriquez’s 36 percent, or 1,043, in Tuesday’s Democratic Primary, according to the Texas Secretary of State’s office.
By capturing more than 50 percent, Gonzalez avoids a runoff and advances to the November general election. However, there is no Republican on the ballot in District 75 — which is heavily Democratic. So, barring something unforeseen, Gonzalez will be sworn in to replace retiring Rep. Chente Quintinilla in January.
Gonzalez, who identifies as queer, is Texas’ first female LGBT legislator. The only out LGBT legislator in the state’s history was Rep. Glen Maxey, D-Austin, who served from 1993 through 2002.
“This is a big victory for Mary, for El Paso and for Texas,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund, which endorsed Gonzalez and supported her campaign. “The people of El Paso will be represented by a talented and committed fighter who knows how to get things done in Austin. And LGBT Texans will be represented by an authentic voice in the Capitol, standing up and speaking out for fairness and freedom for all.”
According to the Victory Fund, which backs openly LGBT candidates nationwide, no state has passed relationship recognition without an out legislator.
In another result that became final overnight, Texas’ first openly LGBT Republican elected official, George Clayton, was defeated Tuesday only months after coming out as gay. Clayton, a member of the State Board of Education from Richardson, failed to make the runoff in his bid for re-election in District 12.
With all 481 precincts reporting in the district that covers all of Collin County and part of Dallas County, Clayton was third with 22 percent, or 7,641, according to the Secretary of State’s office. Geraldine “Tincy” Miller, who held the seat for more than 20 years before being knocked off by Clayton in a surprise upset in 2010, was in first place with 34 percent, or 11,458 votes. Miller will face Gail Spurlock, who finished second with 24 percent or 8,297 votes, in the July 31 runoff.
For more elections results, check out our story on the main page, and for a full recap, see Friday’s Dallas Voice.