Will Houston’s First Openly Gay Mayor Support an Anti-LGBTQ Republican?

by | Jul 15, 2022 | Houston, News

Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker made waves in Harris County politics this week when she found herself at the center of the increasingly dramatic feud between Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo and District Attorney Kim Ogg.

Parker, a longtime supporter of Ogg who has helped the DA fundraise, spoke to Texas Monthly about the tension between Hidalgo and Ogg, and while trying to place the blame on Judge Hidalgo for the public feud Parker let slip that she didn’t vote for the Judge in 2018 — while also saying that she hasn’t decided to vote for Hidalgo this November.

That last comment was a new revelation that shocked many within Harris County Democratic circles, with many longtime supporters of both Hidalgo and Parker shocked to hear the former Houston mayor, who was the first openly gay person to hold the city’s top job and is the chair of one of the largest organizations dedicated to elected LGBTQ Americans to public office, would consider voting for Republican Alexandra Del Moral Mealer, an oil and gas financier with a record of anti-LGBTQ statements and supporters.

Hidalgo faces Mealer in her bid for re-election this upcoming November. 

In an interview with KPRC radio, Mealer said she found herself “very aligned” with Republican Texas School Board candidates who ran anti-CRT and book-banning campaigns. 

The county judge candidate also celebrated the endorsements of Sen. Ted Cruz and Houston conservative radio talk show host Doc Greene. 

For what it’s worth, Greene was recently arrested for trespassing at the Houston Public Library after continuously filming children and parents at a weekly Drag Queen Storytime while armed. 

“We have a bunch of homosexuals that are molesting children, and their doing it with your help,” Greene said to officers in video evidence. 

Equally important, Mealer celebrated another endorsement of former educator Angela Box, who the Houston Independent School District ousted for using racial slurs against former President Barack Obama. 

Box also hosts a conservative online radio show where she called 2022 Pride Month a “demonic scam.” 

Mealer’s far right-wing platform isn’t surprising in today’s political climate, but Parker’s decision to leave the door open to voting for Mealer raised some serious eyebrows.

In an email exchange with Signal, Parker claimed that the interview took place well before the end of the Republican primary race for county judge while doubling down on her attack on Hidalgo.

“Local government is a place that shouldn’t operate in a partisan manner. In 2018 I voted for the most qualified, experienced, and capable candidate by far,” Parker told Signal. “I would not knowingly vote for any candidate who is anti-LGBTQ — and did not then.”

Parker continued: “I lead LGBTQ Victory Fund, dedicated to bi-partisan LGBTQ political representation at every level of government. Representation matters, especially in a political climate where LGBTQ kids are being actively targeted.”

“The interview in question took place long before the Republican Primary was over,” Parker said. “My comments were not in reference to any candidate, only that I’d look at my options when the time came.”

We’ve asked Parker to clarify if she is now ruling out voting for Mealer, but have not received a response.

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Kennedy is a recent graduate of the University of St.Thomas in Houston where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Celt Independent. Kennedy brings her experience of writing about social justice issues to the Texas Signal where she serves as our Political Reporter. She does everything from covering crime beats, Texas politics, and community activism. Kennedy is a passionate reporter, avid reader, coffee enthusiast, and loves to travel.

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