Alan Bernstein reports from last night's meeting of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus, where the process to endorse candidates for the November election was spiced by the presence and participation of a couple of Republican judicial candidates, which is something we haven't seen in awhile.
Pledging fairness and accountability, Republican civil court judges Sharolyn Wood and Mark Davidson visited the Houston Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual & Transgender Political Caucus tonight and gave speeches asking for the group's endorsement in the Nov. 4 elections. But the organization endorsed their Democratic challengers instead, along with an all-Democrat roster of candidates for other federal, state and local offices.
The two civil court judges' application for the endorsement in the last few weeks, and their personal appearances tonight, comprised the first time since the mid-1990s that any Republican contender sought gay caucus backing. The state GOP, along with key individuals and groups who make endorsements in the Republican primaries here, has denounced homosexuality.
The caucus' candidate screening committee rated Wood higher than her opponent, R.K. Sandill. But the fewer-than-100 caucus members who viewed that tacit recommendation voted behind closed doors for Sandill and Davidson's opponent, Mike Miller. The two challengers spoke to the group tonight also, in the public part of the meeting.
An hour so earlier, Davidson told the group he did not expect to be endorsed, but "to refuse to come here would be to give in to hate and prejudice." He urged the caucus to endorse with no regard to party labels because "partisanship must stop at the courthouse door."
"I seek the support of all citizens of Harris County," said Wood. "We treat all persons in our court with fairness and dignity."