Pro-equality Pflugerville trustees win; El Paso adds gay protections

Posted on 12 May 2013 at 8:06am
Steve Ortega

Steve Ortega advanced to a runoff for mayor in El Paso.

Two Pflugerville school board members targeted for supporting domestic partner benefits won re-election Saturday, while El Paso voters approved a charter amendment adding gay employees to the city’s nondiscrimination policy.

In Pflugerville, Carol L. Fletcher and Mario Acosta were among five trustees who voted to offer health benefits to domestic partners last year, making Pflugerville the first school district the first in the state to do so. The decision led to a request for an opinion on the legality of DP benefits from the attorney general, as well as an anti-gay bill in the Legislature that was unsuccessful. From the Austin American-Statesman:

According to final, unofficial results from the Williamson County election office, Fletcher defeated 47-year-old Lance Sandlin with 1,869 votes, 57 percent, votes to Sandlin’s 1,397 votes.

“There was a huge chasm in the experience and qualifications between the incumbents and challengers,” Fletcher said.

Acosta, a 63-year-old program specialist with the Texas Education Agency and a former principal at Parmer Lane Elementary School, defeated Tony Hanson, a 44-year-old senior internal auditor with the Texas General Land Office.

Acosta won with 1,782 votes, 54 percent, to Hanson’s 1,493 votes.

“We were pretty sure that when we voted for the benefits, the majority of Pflugerville residents favored them, too,” Acosta said.

Elsewhere, El Paso voters approved Proposition 7, which adds gay employees to to the nondiscrimination policy in employment and provision of benefits, the El Paso Times reports. Among other things, Prop 7 will allow the city to continue offering DP benefits. Only one of the city’s seven mayoral candidates, Steve Ortega, publicly supported Prop 7. Ortega advanced to a runoff against Oscar Leeser.

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