Houston Mayor Annise Parker hopes to encourage Texans to elect Wendy Davis to the governor’s mansion next fall, but she admits it’ll be hard to elect a Democrat in Texas.
Parker, who recently won her third and final term as Houston mayor, discussed the race with The Dallas Morning News Tuesday shortly before speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.
“She’s running to win,” Parker said. “But its still 54-46, or about that, and that’s what Texas has been for a long time. It’s an uphill battle.”
Davis, a state senator from Fort Worth, is a staunch LGBT ally and has been so since her time on the Fort Worth City Council before she resigned in 2007 to run for the Senate. Her main GOP opponent, Attorney general Greg Abbott, has fervently stood in the way of LGBT rights progressing in Texas.
If elected, Davis would be the first Democratic governor in Texas in almost a quarter of a century since former Gov. Ann Richards held the position.
But Parker said the upside for Texas Democrats is that Davis energizes the party, even if she doesn’t win next year.
Parker recently added domestic partner benefits for city of Houston employees in light of June’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the Defense of Marriage Act.
While a Parker spokeswoman told Dallas Voice that she and her partner, who doesn’t quality for the benefits since they are not legally married have thought about marrying, Parker told the Morning News she wants to marry in Texas but “won’t wait forever” for the red state to allow it.
“We’ve been waiting long enough,” she said. “I want to be young enough to know who I am marrying.”