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Houston Elects Annise Parker


Annise Parker told voters in November she would be Houston's new mayor, and though low voter turnout made it a tighter race than predicted, she's made good on her promise.

The city controller beat out former city attorney Gene Locke at the polls Saturday. With all of the precincts reporting, Parker won 53% to Locke's 47%, making Houston the largest city in the United States to elect an openly gay mayor.

"Tonight the voters of Houston have opened the door to history," Parker said Saturday night, standing by her partner of 19 years, Kathy Hubbard, and their three adopted children. "I acknowledge that. I embrace that. I know what this win means to many of us who never thought we could achieve high office."

Parker had been endorsed by both the Victory Fund and the Houston Chronicle and was an early favorite to win. Though antigay fliers attacking her sexual orientation were circulated late last month, they appear to have had little effect of the race.

"This is an important milestone for our country, but it's equally important to know voters in Houston chose Annise even after a flurry of antigay campaigns designed to divide and distract voters," Victory Fund president Chuck Wolfe wrote in an e-mail immediately after Parker's win. "This time the extremists failed. Houstonians rejected their tactics and voted for the most experienced and competent candidate to lead this city forward."

Parker had previously said in interviews her sexual orientation had little to do with being mayor and is "just a piece of the package."

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