Fran Watson, candidate for Texas Senate

Officials with Lesbian Super Pac — LPAC — today (Tuesday, Feb. 13) announced that the PAC is endorsing  three more candidates, including a lesbian running for the Texas state Senate.

Fran Watson, who is running to represent Texas District 17, which starts on the west side of Houston and runs south to Freeport on the Texas Gulf Coast, is a native Houstonian who works as an attorney. She and her wife, Kim Atkins, were married in 2013.

According to the LPAC press released, District 12 is a traditionally Republican district, but “the demographics of the area are shifting. … Watson appears to have the edge in her primary as well as the ability to mobilize young, energetic voters.”

Watson faces Ahmad Hassan and Rita Lucido in the Democratic Primary on March 6. Vying for the Republican nomination are incumbent Sen. Joan Huffman and Kristin Tassin.

The other two candidates included in LPAC’s most recent endorsements include U.S. Rep. Krysten Sinema of Arizona, the first open bisexual elected to Congress, who is now running for the U.S. Senate, and Lauren Baer, who is running to representative Florida’s District 18 in the U.S. House.

LPAC announced its first four endorsements on Jan. 22. Those candidates are Angie Craig, running for U.S. representative in Minnesota’s District 2; Kate Brown, running for re-election as governor of Oregon; Dana Nessel, running for attorney general in Michigan, and Joy Silver, running for state senate in California’s District 28.

LPAC “will provide technical support and financial support to campaigns as appropriate,” according to the press release.

Watson is one of 40 openly LGBT candidates running for public office this year in Texas. Although LPAC says that if elected, Watson “would be first openly LGBTQ candidate elected to state’s upper chamber, two other openly-LGBT candidates are also running for the Texas Senate:

Mark Phariss, an attorney who with his husband Vic and an Austin lesbian couple successfully sued the state of Texas for marriage equality, is running against Brian Chaput for the Democratic nomination in District 8.

And in District 25, Shannon McClendon is challenging incumbent state Sen. Donna Campbell in the Republican Primary. McClendon touts herself as “a true conservative” who is concerned with “safe streets, good jobs and a secure border” and who wants to “focus on our classrooms,” while calling Campbell “a so-called conservative” who wants to “intrude into our bedrooms, our bathrooms and our boardrooms.”

— Tammye Nash