LGBT activists worry about state, national politics after Tuesday
“Texas took a further right-turn Tuesday night, which is a real set back for women, minorities and the LGBT community here in Texas,” Stonewall Democrats of Dallas President Jay Narey said of the mid-term election results. “If there was a bright spot among the results Tuesday, Dallas and Dallas County was it. The city and the county remained overwhelmingly blue and in Democratic control.”
At Stonewall’s election watch party at The Round-Up Saloon on Election Night, as it became clear Republicans swept the statewide elections, Narey said he hoped to simply maintain the status quo in the upcoming legislative session.
Mark Quigley, Stonewall’s communications chair, offered “props to Equality Texas for that.”
While Democrats feared what might come out of the next session of the legislature, Metroplex Republicans President Rob Schlein offered another take: “We listened to a lot of victory speeches last night,” Schlein said on Wednesday, Nov. 5. “Not one of them talked about ‘traditional marriage’ or marriage bans or anything anti-gay.”
Schlein called the district attorney’s race — where Susan Hawk became the first Republican elected county-wide in Dallas in a decade — a “nail-biter,” and said he was delighted with the outcome.
“Expect competency, integrity, less bullying and better moral at the [Dallas County DA’s] office,” Schlein said.
Another Republican winning candidate Schlein had touted was former Dallas City Councilwoman Linda Koop, who now replaces Rep. Stephani Carter, a Tea Party Republican, in the state House of Representatives District 102.
“I think she’ll be good at budget matters,” Schlein said of Koop, noting that she was a council leader on budgetary matters during her tenure there.
Koop also was a consistent ally on the council on matters relating to the LGBT community, and she can be expected to continue that role in the legislature, Schlein said.
Schlein said that Morgan Meyer, a Republican elected to replace Dan Branch in state House District 108 representing Highland Park including parts of Oak Lawn, is “a pragmatic leader with a focus on fiscal matters.”
Still, Quigley expressed disappointment about statewide races.
“We had strong candidates top to bottom,” he said of the Democratic slate, expressing special conern with the outcome of the attorney general race.
“We are especially shocked and disappointed Texans would elect someone of such questionable background,” he said of Ken Paxton, the Republican who defeated Sam Houston to replace Greg Abbott as AG.
According to a disciplinary order made public in May, Paxton violated the Texas Securities Act by soliciting investment clients without being a registered as an investment adviser. He was reprimanded and fined $1,000.
Quigley blamed media for not covering Paxton’s legal problems and Houston not having enough money to run the campaign he needed to win.
He said he is already looking forward to the 2016 elections.
“Hillary [Clinton] will be a motivating factor,” he said, but added that two years is a long time and anything can happen.
He said over the next two years, with both houses of Congress in Republican hands, the party will not be able to blame not getting anything passed on Obama. He said he expected to see the split between Tea Party and fiscal conservative Republicans to become more apparent.
“President Obama fortunately retains veto power and Republicans do not have the necessary two-thirds majority in either chamber to override a presidential veto,” Narey said.
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition November 7, 2014.