Dave Wilson, a white anti-gay Republican from Texas, won a local election by purposely misleading voters into thinking he was black. (Yes, you’re still in the year 2013, no need to check the calendar.) According to reports, Wilson snagged a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees after specifically targeting his predominantly African American district with, shall we say, misleading ads. He won by only 26 votes.
"I'd always said it was a long shot," Wilson said. "No, I didn't expect to win."
KHOU News reports that Wilson insinuated he was black by printing and mailing fliers that included “photographs of smiling African-American faces” that were taken off random websites. The pictures also had the following caption, "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson."
His major trick was when he sent out mailers that claimed he was "Endorsed by Ron Wilson.” Voters who read the fine print beneath the headline would see that Dave was referring to his cousin. Those who didn’t read extra carefully were led to believe that Dave was being endorsed by Ron Wilson, a former state representative who's also African-American.
Before this most recent stunt, Wilson also gained notoriety in Houston back in 2009 for his smear campaign against an openly gay candidate who was running for mayor. He said that Houston Controller Annise Parker should not be mayor because "homosexual behavior leads to extinction” and sent fliers to 35,000 voters in the Houston area.
Clearly, this guy’s not above manipulation, but other politicians aren’t planning on letting him get away it this time.
Bruce Austin, Wilson's 24-year-old opponent in the race, is fed up with Wilson’s antics. He wants a recount of the close voting outcome, which shouldn’t come as a surprise considering how close the race was. Austin told the Houston Chronicle he thought Wilson’s tactics were “disgusting.”
"He never put out to voters that he was white," said Austin. "The problem is his picture was not in the League of Voters [pamphlet] or anywhere. This is one of the few times a white guy has pretended to be black guy and fooled black people."
(Image via KHOU News)