Here come the LGBT candidates

Keep your eyes on these folks.

Fran Watson

At least four Houstonians are among the numerous LGBTQ Texans eyeing campaigns in 2018 and 2019. One of the Houston candidates has formally announced, and three others are strongly considering runs.

“People are fed up, and they want a better Texas,” said Fran Watson, who’s considering running as a Democrat in Texas Senate District 17, which covers parts of Harris, Brazoria, and Fort Bend counties. That district is currently represented by Senator Joan Huffman (R-Houston).

“Texans deserve leaders who have the everyday issues of Texans in mind, rather than focusing on who uses what bathroom,” said Watson, an attorney who serves as president of the Houston GLBT Political Caucus. Huffman voted in favor of Senate Bill 6, the anti-transgender “bathroom bill.”

“There are people in the district who are hurting, and I know how to identify with these people,” Watson said. “I also have the skill set to draft legislation to help them.”


Other potential LGBTQ candidates are eyeing Houston City Council races in 2019. Ashton Woods, the founder of Black Lives Matter: Houston, said he may run for either the District K or an at-large seat. District K is represented by Council Member Larry Green, who will be term-limited in 2019.

“We have to stand up and fight back,” Woods said. “People are being left behind and treated as nonexistent. People have basic human needs—if they are missing a meal, they can’t think about fighting back. We had Donald Trumps before there was a President Trump. They are in our backyards and in elected offices. We need to fight the Trumps in our backyards.”

Nelvin Adriatico, who owns a Sugar Land real-estate firm, is considering a run for the District J seat held by openly gay Council Member Mike Laster, who is also term-limited.

Adriatico has been involved with the highly successful back-to-school backpack program in District J. He said he wants to focus on education, small business, and combatting domestic violence.

“If you have a voice, it can be magnified by serving in an elected office,” Adriatico said, adding that he watches the news every day and is troubled by what Trump is doing.

“I have friends who are minorities and immigrants,” said Adriatico, who would be among the first openly LGBT Asian-Americans elected to public office in Texas. “We’ve got to raise our voices and make a change.”

Watson is no longer the President of the Houston LGBT Political Caucus; she stepped down a few days ago, presumably in advance of announcing her candidacy. I could try to summarize the things she has done in recent years, but better for you to read this OutSmart profile and this Girls Like You And Me interview with her to see just how impressive she is. I know of at least one other person looking at this race, but Watson would be a formidable candidate if she does run.

As for Woods and Adriatico, I hope they have to wait till 2019 to actually run for Council, but I’m glad they’re thinking about it now, just in case. Let’s just say there’s more than a bit of anxiety about the possibility of a mad sprint for candidates this November. The other person mentioned in the story, the one who is already a candidate, is Jerry Simoneaux, who is among the Democratic judicial hopefuls. He’s running for Harris County Probate Court #1, and has a primary opponent. He also happens to be Watson’s law partner. There are a few non-Houston LGBT candidates in there as well. We’ll need to revisit the topic after the filing deadline.

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16 Responses to Here come the LGBT candidates

  1. neither here nor there says:

    When does Nelvin Adriatico plan to move into the district or register to vote in Harris County?

  2. TexMex Dude says:

    Nelvin Adriatico might face Mr. Jim Bigham in 2019 for District J. Bigham is the former president of the Sharpstown Civic Association and ran against Laster in 2015. Most of his campaign was based on criticizing TIRZ, MD’s, and the “machine” that runs the COH. He also initially supported HERO, but later flipped.

  3. If lane lewis couldn’t put together any real solutions. Why expect these candidates to be any different?

  4. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Yo, Joe

    A few comments

    1) Mr Lewis managed to (at a minimum) preside over a massive increase of Dem office holders in Harris County. I don’t think you can claim he was a failure as Harris County Democratic Leader.
    2) Even if you’re upset with Mr Lewis (for whatever reason – legit or not), its bigoted to assume that all LGBT community members can be typecast as Xerox copies of each other. You wouldn’t assume that all White, Straight, Cisgendered candidates are the same. Pelosi doesn’t equal Sid Miller. But they’re both white, cisgendered, and straight. Why not lump them together.
    3) Your post leads me to question if you have an issue with LGBT candidates in general.

    I can promise you that there are plenty of differences in the LGBT community. There will be 20 or so out LGBT candidates in Harris County in the next election cycle (local, state, and Federal).

  5. In that case he should have been able to put together ideas the 2 times he ran for office.

  6. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    LOL. Lane ran in a far right district the first time he ran for office. It was a long shot at best when he ran for District A. The next time, there were two LGBT candidates (so much for your ‘all the candidates from the LGBT community are the same’ meme).

    What specific policy proposal would you have wanted him to support? Anti-Gay ones?

    Either way, there will be at least 20 candidates from the community on the ballot in the next state, local, and federal cycle. Many will win. So if you’re upset about the LGBT community trying to get a seat at the table in order to avoid being on the menu….tough.

  7. Wake me up when houston democrats have real ideas

  8. Mr.Clean19 says:

    @Tom, whats the difference between cisgender and straight? I cant imagine why normal people can align with the new liberal post modern terminology or self identification. People liked Mayor Parker because she was an effective politician and not because she was gay.

  9. Ross says:

    Joe seems to think that candidates need to have a website full of inane, unworkable policy proposals, or they aren’t serious. I don’t think he’s anti LGBT, but he’s derisively a one note singer.

  10. Actually…

    The ideas on my website aren’t mine.

    I’ve gotten them from other cities and states that have been doing them for years

    If Houston candidates are too lazy to copy and paste ideas and put them on a website. Then we have bigger problems.

  11. Ross says:

    No, Joe, we don’t need candidates copying bad ideas from mediocre candidates in other places.

  12. The only mediocre candidates are the ones running in texas congressional district 07

  13. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    Such a long list of policy proposals, but nothing for LGBT persons. So progressive you are. LOL. Then again, anyone who would assume that all LGBT candidates are the same, as you did in your first post in here, is probably not an ally of the LGBT community.

    Are you running for CD-07? Or will the Greens put up someone else who has troubled attitude with the LGBT community under the banner of a third party that has links to Putin as a candidate of a supposedly ‘progressive’ party in a moderately right of center CD?

  14. I’m running as a democrat.

    I could care less about lgbt endorsements.

    My lgbt ideas gave been on my website for 2 years. If people are too lazy to look we have bigger problems.

    Fran Watson has a law degree, let me know when she decides to put real ideas in writing, on a website.

    Otherwise she’s just a desk-lamp democrat like amanda edwards.

  15. Tom in Lazybrook says:

    LOL. Enjoy your race as a Democrat. You and your attitude is precisely why there will be 20+ out LGBT candidates this cycle. Just decide for yourself, without any input for the community what is ‘good enough’ for us.

  16. Sorry. Unlike other know-nothing

    I don’t need a listening tour, if you’re that dumb don’t run for office

Comments are closed.