Anti-gay leader Steve Hotze withdrew his support for Tony Buzbee on Thursday, and called the mayoral candidate a “charlatan and liar” for denying he had sought the Republican power broker’s political support.
In an emailed statement, Hotze said Buzbee actively worked to get support from his group, Campaign for Houston, and at one point wanted Hotze to reach out to older Republicans to encourage them to vote for him.
“Make no mistake about it, the reason Tony Buzbee wanted to meet with Dr. Hotze was to gain his support,” the statement said.
Earlier this week, in response to a question about Hotze’s endorsement during a mayoral debate, Buzbee said he “didn’t know” Hotze or why the anti-LGBTQ Campaign for Houston had endorsed his campaign. A day later, Jared Woodfill, a spokesman for Hotze’s group, said the two had met multiple times in the run-up to Hotze’s endorsement, which was published in the Link Letter, a popular conservative newsletter
In response, Buzbee said he had forgotten about the meetings when he claimed not to know Hotze or agree with his anti-gay stances.
Reached by text Thursday afternoon, a spokesperson for Buzbee said the campaign was reviewing Hotze’s statement.
Hotze’s statement details four meetings he and some of his associates had with Buzbee between Aug. 27 and Sept. 17. It was during those meetings, Hotze said, that Buzbee told him that he had opposed the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance in 2015, and did not support the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage.
“During this meeting, Buzbee had aligned himself with Dr. Hotze’s view on these issues,” the statement said in reference to the Aug. 27 meeting at Hotze’s home.
See here for the background. Who among us hasn’t forgotten meeting four times with a viciously homophobic political power broker for the purpose of securing his endorsement in our Mayoral campaign? Could happen to anyone. Honestly, what else is there to say? It’s just perfect.