Gay man loses race to lawyer

Posted on 09 Mar 2006 at 11:08pm
By Dennis Vercher Staff Writer

Smith’s supporters urge him to run again



Andy Smith

Lawyer Allen Vaught easily defeated gay candidate Andy Smith in their Dem-cratic primary race for a seat in the Texas House.

Vaught, whose fundraising far outstripped Smith’s, drew 62 percent of the vote in the two-person race. Lawyer Allen Vaught easily defeated gay candidate Andy Smith in their Dem-cratic primary race for a seat in the Texas House.

Vaught, whose fundraising far outstripped Smith’s, drew 62 percent of the vote in the two-person race. While the loss disheartened Smith and his supporters, backers were already encouraging him Tuesday night to continue to seek office.

At a post-election party held at La Calle Doce restaurant in East Dallas, Jesse “J.T.” Price said Smith “will have my support for anything he runs for in the future.”

“He has the potential for a great future in politics in Texas,” said the former Dallas councilman and past president of Area 13 of the Texas Municipal League.

In the latest filings with the Texas Ethics Commission, Vaught had raised nearly $60,000 from political action committees, with 93 percent of that amount coming from Texans for Insurance Reform, a political action committee funded by personal injury lawyers.

Smith said none of his campaign money came from special interests.
But Smith didn’t raise the matter until March 4, three days before the primary, and it is unclear how helpful the issue was in the final few days of the campaign. Smith conceded the race at 9:45 p.m.

“We’ve got 85 percent of the precincts now, and it’s not in our favor,” he said.
But his concession speech was hopeful and, toward the end, emotional as he thanked his partner and his father, who he called his “hero.”

“This last year has been a wonderful adventure,” Smith said, as he recounted the hard work by volunteers, the money donated and the friendships made.
He also thanked his first collaborator in politics, Robert Wade Brown of Texarkana, who was at the party with his 99-year-old mother. He said Brown had been the first to encourage him to run for office.

“But the biggest thing Robert ever did for me was to introduce me to my partner,” he said, referring to Paul von Wupperfeld, who was instrumental in the campaign.

“I couldn’t have done this without him,” Smith said.
E-mail editor@dallasvoice.com

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition, March 10, 2006.

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