This week Annise Parker was re-elected as Mayor of Houston, Texas for a third and final term. Parker is the first openly LGBT chief executive of a Top 10 city.
With 35% of precincts reporting Tuesday night, Parker had secured 57% of the vote compared with 28% for Hall. Hall conceded less than two hours after the polls closed when early returns showed Parker securing the 50% threshold needed to avoid a runoff.Parker's victory is in contrast to high-profile losses by other female candidates running for Mayor of major cities in 2013 such as Christine Quinn in New York City and Wendy Greuel in Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times analyzes why Parker won:
“The mayor has an image as a technocrat, a policy wonk, not an in-your-face left-wing activist. She’s not someone who really alienates conservatives,” said Mark Jones, chair of the political science department at Rice University in Houston.While Hall lived in a mansion just outside Houston until last year, Parker graduated from Rice, worked in the oil and gas industry and lived with her domestic partner, Kathy Hubbard, and three children in an older home in the city’s historic Heights neighborhood.Parker started out as a gay activist in college, was president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and has been open about her family, attending black-tie events with Hubbard. But, Jones said, “she doesn’t make a political issue out of it.”“She’s first and foremost a mayor who focuses on policy,” he said. “Her life is one that people in Houston can really identify with.”Before she was first elected mayor in 2009, Parker served on the City Council and as Houston controller. During her first mayoral term, she handled budget cuts without raising taxes, which Jones said earned her respect from conservative and centrist voters.
Congratulations to Mayor Parker!