HOUSTON (CBS HOUSTON) — A white Republican unseated a 24-year African-American incumbent from office in a surprise election victory that some are saying was racially tinged and deceptive.
Dave Wilson, who KHOU reports is an “anti-gay activist and former fringe candidate for mayor,” is being criticized by his opposition for his campaign that reportedly lead the overwhelmingly African-American, Democratic district to believe he was black.
Saying he was fed up with “all the shenanigans” at the Houston Community College System, Wilson said he came up with the strategy because he knew his chances of winning the election against 24-year Democratic incumbent Bruce Austin were quite thin.
“I’d always said it was a long shot,” Wilson told Houston’s KHOU. “No, I didn’t expect to win.”
Austin described Wilson’s campaign as “disgusting,” referring to Wilson’s use of fliers showing African-American faces and a caption of: “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”
Wilson admitted simply using images found on the Internet.
One of the mailers used said that Dave Wilson was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson – a longtime African-American, Democratic state legislator. However, the fine print below the slogan states, “Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins,” a reference to Wilson’s non-politically affiliated cousin who lives in Iowa.
“He’s a nice cousin,” Wilson told KHOU, suppressing a laugh. “We played baseball in high school together. And he’s endorsed me.”
In response to losing the election by 26 votes, Austin said he was seeking a recount.
“I don’t think it’s good,” he 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.”
–Benjamin Fearnow @Bfearnow21