This past election season has certainly been bizarre, this after two convicted felons won city council seats in Michigan last week. Now in Texas, a white, conservative activist known for anti-gay leanings fooled voters into thinking he was black and won an election.
Dave Wilson, an electrician who has attacked Houston’s lesbian mayor with a mean-spirited mailing campaign, won a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees last week by a narrow margin. Wilson beat incumbent black Bruce Austin in a district made of primarily of black voters. Wilson smugly sees his victory as the great accident it is, and didn’t pull punches on deceiving the public.
“I’d always said it was a long shot,” Wilson said to KHOU. “No, I didn’t expect to win.”
Wilson beat Austin, who served on the board for 24 years, by just 26 votes. Wilson, who also ran for a fringe mayoral post in the past, duped voters by mailing out campaign fliers adorned with black people with captions that read “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.
Wilson never appeared on any of the ads, naturally. There was also a flier that read “Endorsed by Ron Wilson” who was widely known as the Black former state representative. If voters read the fine print, they would have discovered the Ron Wilson mentioned in the ad was actually the cousin of the newly elected board member.
“He’s a nice cousin,” Wilson said. “We played baseball in high school together. And he’s endorsed me.”
Wilson is delighting in his victory, saying that “Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters” in a bold declaration to KHOU. Austin tried to counter with mailers of his own showing Wilson as a right-wing hatemonger, but admitted that he may have reacted far too late to shift the campaign into his favor.
“I don’t think it’s good,” Austin said. “I don’t think it’s good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play. But that was not his intent, apparently.
Wilson faces a recount, but it is expected he’ll hold his post for the six-year term. Hit the jump to see KHOU’s report on Wilson’s zany victory.