December 14, 2007
The successful Caucus

The Houston GLBT Political Caucus had a pretty good election season this year. Here's the press release they sent out about it:

The Houston GLBT Caucus was victorious in 16 of the 17 races in which they endorsed in the November general election and December runoff election including the city council race for District D which encompasses the Montrose Area. Unofficial canvass reports from Harris County had Adams winning Montrose by about 800 total votes, receiving 88% of the vote in those precincts. The GLBT Caucus also endorsed Jolanda Jones, At-Large 5 and James Rodriguez, District I for Houston City Council.

GLBT President Jennifer Pool said, "The Caucus worked very hard to elect those candidates it endorsed, and it worked. Jolanda Jones and Wanda Adams each won decisively in their respective runoff races because of the extraordinary work of our volunteers coordinated by Nick Hellyar."

Pool also emphasized, "We are not a special interest group; we are a general interest group. That is why we endorsed in the HISD, county, and state bond elections as well. Our focus is on cleaner air, better public schools, increasing public safety, and electing quality progressive candidates. We want a better Houston for our families, and that starts by electing the best candidates."

The Houston GLBT Political Caucus (HGLBTPC), founded in 1975, is the South's oldest GLBT civil rights organization. The HGLBTPC is member based and serves as the political arm of the Houston GLBT community. The Caucus meets the first Wednesday of every month at 7:00 p.m. The monthly meeting is held at the Havens Center, 1827 W. Alabama. For more information go to

The one race they did not win was in the HISD Trustee election where they endorsed Kevin Hoffman over Yolanda Navarro Flores. Other than that, they ran the table. It's a pretty impressive achievement, especially when you consider how wide open a couple of those races were.

This Chron story took a look at one big way in which the Caucus affected the outcome of a race, the District D runoff election.

Montrose, on the map an awkward appendage to a district that covers the south side of the city, provided almost all of the margin of victory for candidate Wanda Adams in Saturday's runoff election contest against Lawrence Allen Jr.

Adams, who lives in the Hiram Clarke neighborhood several miles to the south, had worked in the Montrose area and was backed by the Houston Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Political Caucus.

Allen never sought the endorsement of the caucus, which ran an aggressive voter turnout program in support of Adams.

The group exploited its database with contact information for more than 30,000 friendly voters throughout Harris County.

In some Montrose precincts, Adams garnered more than 85 percent of the vote. Allen's showing was not as strong in any single precinct in the district.

Adams won with 57.2 percent of the 8,183 votes cast.

"I thank the citizens and voters of Montrose," Adams said. "They really wanted their voice to be heard."


Caucus president Jenifer Rene Pool said the group backed Adams and Jolanda Jones, who won a citywide council race Saturday, because they are "people who believe in equality for all and not just equality for a selected few."

The results showed that the caucus can influence local contests "especially in a low-turnout election," she said.

The data isn't available online yet, but the Montrose precincts accounted for nearly all of Adams' margin of victory. That's what I call getting out the vote.

One interesting sidebar from that story:

The council voted in 1993 to move Montrose to D from C to balance population and because of court pressure to create more districts in which clusters of minority voters have influence.

Some gay activists, however, accused then-Councilman Vince Ryan of District C of letting Montrose go because [Annise] Parker had run against him in 1991 in hopes of galvanizing gay support in the southwest side.

Ryan denied the allegation, but added, "Maybe if they had been friendly and not run someone against me, I could have helped them prepare to run a good candidate" in future contests.

Given that Ryan will be back on the ballot in 2008 as the Democratic nominee for County Attorney, all I can say is that I hope he and the Caucus have mended their fences by now.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 14, 2007 to Election 2007