Gay groups pleased with candidates’ performance

Posted on 17 May 2007 at 7:21pm
By Ben Briscoe Staff Writer

4 of 10 candidates backed by Stonewall, half of those endorsed by DGLA win outright or make runoffs



Jesse Garcia (left), and Pete Webb (right)

The presidents of both Stonewall Democrats of Dallas and the Dallas Gay and Lesbian Alliance are saying they are pleased with how the election results turned out.

Four out of the 10 candidates that Stonewall endorsed in the election won their seats, and two candidates are headed to a runoff.

“I just couldn’t be more delighted,” Stonewall President Jessie Garcia said. “This community has elected a great group of people into office.”

From their endorsements: Elba Garcia took the city council seat for District 1 with 96.14 percent of the vote. Pauline Medrano won District 2 with 76.23 percent. Steve Salazar was unopposed in District 6. Angela Hunt won in District 14 with 85.73 percent. Joseph Hernandez in District 3 took 32.05 percent of the vote, sending him into the runoff. And Ed Oakley is also headed to a runoff for mayor after winning 20.65 percent of the vote.

In order to get an endorsement from Stonewall, the candidates had to: be “well qualified,” have voted against the state constitutional amendment defining marriage as between a man and a women, be willing to appoint LGBT citizens to their boards and commissions and be willing to protect same-sex partner benefits currently being offered by the city of Dallas.

DGLA had a 50 percent success rate at their endorsements getting into office.
“In my mind, elections are about corporate equality,” DGLA President Pete Webb said. “If you think of the city as a corporation, it’s important to address that all employees and customers are treated fairly. We look for people in our endorsements who will do that. And I think these winners will.”

DGLA also supported Medrano, Hernandez, Hunt and Oakley. Where the two organizations differed was in District 5 where DGLA’s endorsed candidate, Betty J. Culbreath, took 26.79 percent of the vote, beating Stonewall’s endorsed candidate, Camile White, into the runoff. Another point of difference was DGLA’s support of Ron Natinsky in District 12. Natinsky took 82.01 percent of the vote.

In order to gain an endorsement from DGLA, the candidates had to submit a written request for endorsement, come in for an interview and fill out a written questionnaire.

“Our endorsement program had a huge success rate,” Webb said. “But we didn’t win them all. That’s why it’s time now to continue to do what DGLA has done for the past 30 years. We have to work with the new members of the government to educate them about our issues and our community.”

DGLA has one-on-one meetings planned with newly-elected officials as early as next week.

“The other ones who won weren’t bad at all, but we can’t sit down and hope they will just take our side even though we didn’t endorse them,” Webb said. “It’s up to us to be active, and take the first step.”

E-mail briscoe@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition May 18, 2007

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