A white Republican won a local election in Houston, Texas, by pretending he is black, KHOU 11 reported.
The unorthodox campaign for a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees revolved around campaign mailers that “strongly implied he was black,” according to the network.
The mailers featured “smiling African-American faces — which he readily admits he just lifted off websites — and captioned with the words, ‘Please vote for our friend and neighbour Dave Wilson'” over 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin. He won in the heavily black district by just 26 votes.
“Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” Wilson told the network.
In one example, Wilson, who the network described as a “political mischief-maker,” included the fact that he was “endorsed by Ron Wilson.” In Houston, voters take that to mean he was endorsed by longtime state representative Ron Wilson, who is black. In the fine print, though, Dave Wilson clarified that he was talking about his cousin endorsing him.
Wilson also has a campaign website decorated with many of the same features. The campaign site does not feature a single picture of him, but is adorned with smiling people of many different races. Under the “Issues” section of the site, it only says that Wilson is the sole candidate “committed to keeping ‘our’ money for ‘our’ children.” But the “About Dave” section features an extensive background on his experience as a small-business owner.
The site also features a radio ad narrated by two African-American women.
“Dave Wilson? Isn’t he the — ” one woman says.
“Yes, Dave Wilson is the man who’s fighting for our neighborhoods,” the other says.
The report describes Wilson as an “anti-gay activist” and a former fringe candidate for mayor. Indeed, in 2011, he ran against incumbent Democratic Mayor Annise Parker.
On his campaign website, he accused Parker of running on the basis of her sexual orientation.
“Imagine Rick Perry sending a message to his supporters stating that the most significant part of his election as Governor is — I am White,” the site read.
Here’s a look at the campaign mailers, from KHOU:
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