Houston, TX — Less than a week after winning a local election in Houston, one candidate is already embroiled in a racial controversy. Critics of Dave Wilson, a white Republican, are taking issue with his campaign strategy to win in a majority African-American district, Doug Miller reports.
On election night as some candidates celebrated victory, not many people noticed a campaign shocker, Dave Wilson, "Nobody was shocked more than me."
That's Dave Wilson, an anti-gay and sort of political mischief maker who put his name on the ballot, "I had always said it was a long shot. No, I didn't expect to win."
He ran against this man, Houston Community College Trustee Bruce Austin who voters have elected and re-elected for 24 years, "Well I was rather disgusted."
Disgusted by something that turned up on voters' mailboxes.
Most of the voters in the district involved in this election are African-American. Wilson sent out a bunch of these direct mail pieces implying that he's African-American.
His fliers depicted smiling African American faces. The words said, "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson."
The pictures, he admits, were just lifted off the Internet, Reporter, "Well all of these supporters are African American."
Dave Wilson, "What a coincidence."
The flier said he was endorsed by Ron Wilson. No, not the former state representative. The fine print says Ron Wilson is Dave Wilson's cousin.
Don Wilson, "That's correct, we are."
Reporter, "You've really got a cousin named Ron Wilson?"
Wilson, "Yeah. He's Edna and Gene's boy."
Reporter, "Did he really endorse you?"
Dave Wilson, "Yeah. I called him up."
In a heavily African American district Wilson won by 26 votes, "I don't think it's good. I don't think it's good for both democracy and the whole concept of fair play, but that was not his intent apparently."
Austin has said he'll ask for a recount, but in an era of electronic voting, political analysts thing Wilson's victory will hold despite his deliberately deceptive fliers.
Wilson was elected to the Houston Community College System's Board of Trustees for a six year term.