Houston Candidate Accused of Deceiving Voters by Indicating He Was Black

David Wilson, a conservative white candidate in Texas, beat a Black competitor by less than 30 votes.

Posted: 11/11/2013 02:12 PM EST

(Photo: Courtesy of David Wilson)

It was a relatively obscure election in Houston, but the results have many African-American residents fuming, saying that the winner deceived voters and won the race by implying that he was Black.

The race involved David Wilson, a white, conservative frequent candidate who is best known for his strongly anti-gay positions. Wilson ran for a position on the Houston Community College Board last week, beating the 24-year incumbent by less than 30 votes.

In the community college board race, Wilson circulated campaign literature that featured photographs of a number of African-American faces, carrying the text, “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”

In addition, his campaign literature also included a piece that indicated that he had been endorsed by Ron Wilson, the name of a former longtime African-American member of the Texas House of Representatives. However, the Ron Wilson who was mentioned in the campaign information was instead a cousin of the candidate, a fact that was disclosed in fine print.

The defeated candidate, Bruce Austin, said he will request a recount in the election, which he lost by 27 votes.

Austin, who has served on the board since 1989, said Wilson won the largely African-American district by deceiving voters.

“The problem is his picture was not in the League of Voters (pamphlet) or anywhere,” Austin said. “This is one of the few times a white guy has pretended to be Black guy and fooled Black people.”

The results and the controversy surrounding Wilson’s election don’t seem to bother the candidate at all. He seemed to take accusations of deceiving voters in stride, saying it was a common practice among politicians.

“Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” David Wilson told KHOU, which described him as a “gleeful political troublemaker.”

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