Rep. Sylvester Turner wins Houston mayoral run-off in nail-biter

Posted on 14 Dec 2015 at 11:53am
Sylvester Turner

Houston Mayor-elect Sylvester Turner

State Rep. Sylvester Turner narrowly beat businessman and former Kemah Mayor Bill King in the Houston mayoral run-off election Saturday.

Turner won by just 4,000 of 212,700 votes cast, according to the Texas Tribune.

The longtime Democratic state representative succeeds term-limited mayor Annise Parker, the first out lesbian mayor of country’s fourth largest and Texas’ largest city.

Houston municipal races are nonpartisan, but the run-off election took an increasingly partisan tone with Turner gaining the support of Democrats, including President Barack Obama, while King garnered support of Republicans.

The race also comes as good news for Houston’s LGBT population. After a year of legal battles over the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance, voters overwhelmingly repealed the nondiscrimination ordinance last month. The sweeping nondiscrimination ordinance would have protected people based on a variety of classes, including sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, from discrimination in housing, employment and public spaces.

When it passed council last year, opponents, lead by US Pastors Council head Dave Welch, immediately filed suit to stop its enforcement. After numerous legal disputes, including a subpoena of pastors’ sermons by Parker, opponents successfully forced it onto the November ballot.

During their campaign, opponents seized on the gender identity and expression protections, campaigning that if passed the ordinance said it would allow “men into women’s bathrooms.”

King and Turner, however, mainly focused on the city’s finances. Ahead of the run-off, King signaled he would not support the ordinance while Turner supported it.

This was Turner’s third mayoral run. He takes office in January.

Comments (powered by FaceBook)