Mike Laster wins a council seat.
Mike Laster wins a council seat.

Mike Laster, Manuel Rodriguez Jr.: One Gay Elected, One Anti-Gay Bigot Re-Elected

There weren't a ton of surprises in last night's elections; Annise Parker's barely escaping a runoff is likely getting the most notice, as it probably sets up a well-financed challenge in 2013.

But there were some other things.

Houston elected another openly gay person, as newly created District J was won by Mike Laster, who raised an impressive amount of money to win what was supposed to be a Hispanic seat. Turnout was dismal in the district, for what it's worth. Laster won with 2,793 votes; by contrast, Oliver Pennington got 11,905 votes in District G.

In the HISD board vote, incumbent Manuel Rodriguez Jr., who put out a nasty anti-gay flyer against opponent Ramiro Fonseca, narrowly won re-election in unofficial results.

But the incumbent won by just 24 votes out of 4,778 cast, and the results are not official.

Also, Houston may be getting its first full-blown Ron Paul fan on council. Helena Brown edged incumbent Brenda Stardig in the District A vote, although the two will have a rematch in a runoff.

Brown was an alternate to the 2008 GOP convention, but made clear she was a Ron Paul person by taking time out to appear at a rally supporting him.


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