By a small margin, a white anti-gay activist has ousted a 24-year African American incumbent from his position on the Houston Community College System Board of Trustees – and he did it by pretending to be black.  Dave Wilson, who has been a unsuccessful candidate in several local political elections, decided to take a shot at the HCCS Trustee job, even though he knew he was running in an overwhelmingly black district.  So he tried to see if he could subtly convince voters he was black, too.

In an interview with a reporter, Wilson said he was “shocked” that he won.

“I’d always said it was a long shot,” he said. “No, I didn’t expect to win.”

Wilson sent campaign fliers to community members that used stock photos of African Americans with messages like, “Please vote for our friend and neighbor, Dave Wilson.” He even boasted an endorsement from Ron Wilson. Houston voters probably thought he meant former state Rep. Ron Wilson, who helped create the Texas Human Rights Commission, debated Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and led the fight to make Martin Luther King Jr. Day a recognized holiday in the state.  But the Ron Wilson in question was actually his family member with the same name, an Iowa-dwelling cousin who Wilson grew up playing baseball with.

In one of his political mailers, he made a point to tie his opponent, incumbent Bruce Austin, to Houston’s openly lesbian mayor, Annise Parker, pointing out that they both supported “sodomy,” “same sex marriage,” and “that a man can use a woman’s bathroom.”

Austin said that he was disgusted by the mailers and suggested that he may pursue a recount, since he lost by a mere 26-vote margin.

“I don’t think it’s good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play,” he said of his challenger’s campaign. “But that was not his intent, apparently.”

It may not be a high-profile position, but the victory has attracted the attention for blatant deception and because of Wilson’s history in the community.

The deceptive mailers in this election are not the first time Wilson’s fliers have created controversy. He’s known in Houston politics for his attacks against Mayor Parker and gay people in general.

He was recently described in the local paper as a terrible person who has no business being on any elected body, and he has zero qualifications for this job.  He’s been running for various things lately just to be a pain in the ass, and it looks like this time in low information, low turnout race, he managed to win.

So, is he smart like a fox or is he a liar through his deception?  You may not like the guy because of his beliefs and he may not even be qualified for the position, but he did win the election and anybody who votes in an election damn well better know who they are voting for.  This is the perfect example of people voting based strictly on name recognition.  As far as the ads referring to a “Ron Wilson”, if he really does have a cousin with the same name, it was pure genius.  I think that the major uproar is over the fact that the voters of the district feel that they have been duped, when in reality, it is their own fault.