Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 46, Ed. 1 Friday, March 13, 1998 Page: 6 of 72
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Amid low turnout, several gay-endorsed candidates win races
Gay political leaders express high hopes Morales, Mattox
can mount successful campaigns against GOP opponents
By Tammye Nash
In an election marked by strikingly
low voter turnout, most of the candi-
dates endorsed by Dallas' gay political
action committees won their races out-
right, with none facing runoff elections.
All candidates endorsed by the two
groups — Stonewall Democrats and the
political action committee of Dallas Gay
and Lesbian Alliance — were running
in congressional, state and local races in
the Democratic primary.
On the Republican side of the prima-
ry coin, the only openly gay candidate
in Dallas County came in last in a four-
way race for a district civil judgeship.
But the candidate, Dallas attorney
Robert W. Wightman, said several gay-
friendly candidates prevailed in other
Representatives of the local gay and
lesbian political groups expressed dis-
appointment at the low turnout during
Tuesday's primary elections.
Christy Kinsler, president of
Stonewall Democrats, said Wednesday
that "We're very disappointed, of
course, in terms of the low voter turn-
out," said Christy Kinsler, president of
Stonewall Democrats. "It was just piti-
Kinsler blamed the low turnout on
the "overall cynicism people have
about the whole political thing, starting
from the White House on down," she
John Stevens, co-chair of the Dallas
Gay and Lesbian Alliance political
action committee, also expressed dis-
may about the low turnout.
But, he added, "The gay and lesbian
community did turn out to vote. In my
precinct, where I am precinct chair, we
noticed that for about the last 30 min-
utes that the polls were open, everyone
who came in to vote was gay. I think
that is a continuation of a trend that we
saw in the last presidential election,
that gays and lesbians do turn out to
vote in higher numbers."
In the top race on the Democratic pri-
mary ballot, Mesquite schoolteacher
Victor Morales easily defeated Hearn
schoolteacher William Foster III to
clinch his party's nomination to seek
the District 5 seat in the U.S. House of
Representatives. Morales, who cap-
tured 70 percent of Tuesday's vote, will
face incumbent Pete Sessions in the
November general election.
In contested state races, Democratic
attorney general candidate Jim Mattox
pulled 68 percent of the vote in a race
against Morris Overstreet, an appeals
court judge, and Gene Kelly, who
mounted a minimal campaign. Mattox
was endorsed by both gay political
Stevens said Mattox' victory was
good news for Democrats come
"It shows that the Democrats are
behind their candidate and that there
isn't a lot of divisiveness in the party.
And that will be a plus in November,"
In the Republican Primary, attorney
general candidates Barry Williamson
(39 percent) and John Comyn (32 per-
cent) now face a runoff to determine the
Republican nominee for the position.
Former Texas Republican Party chair
Tom Pauken was third in the race with
This restyled Arizona denim jacket
from the cast and crew of The
Rosie O’Donnell Show fetched
$8,000, the top bid at last
Saturday’s 10th anniversary Dallas
Collection. The Collection is the
largest annual fundraiser staged
by the Dallas chapter of the Design
Industries Foundation Fighting
29 percent of the vote.
Both Stevens and Kinsler applauded
incumbent State Rep. Terri Hodge's
huge victory in the District 100 race.
Hodge, considered a solid supporter of
gay and lesbian equality, collected 83
percent of the vote on Tuesday and
faces no Republican challenger in
In the Democratic Primary Race for
County Commissioner Precinct 4, for-
mer Dallas City Councilman Bob
Stimson easily out-distanced three
opponents, taking 52 percent of the
vote. He will now face incumbent
Commissioner Kenneth Mayfield, who
got 61 percent of the vote in the
Republican primary to defeat two chal-
While serving on the Dallas Council,
Stimson voted in favor of an ordinance
extending antidiscrimination protec-
tions to city workers.
Mayfield angered many gays and
lesbians with his strong opposition to
condom distribution by the Dallas
County Health and Human Services
"We have got to get behind Bob
Stimson in the general election. He has
always stood by us, and now we have
to stand by him," Kinsler urged.
Robert R. "Bob" Wightman, a gay
Republican, came in last in the four-
way race for the 193rd district court,
with just over 7 percent of the vote.
Still, Wightman said, he remained
upbeat about his campaign experience.
"I'm invigorated, and I feel good about
what I did," he said.
Wightman said it was clear that rela-
tively few gays and lesbians voted in
the Republican primary, which proba-
bly doomed his candidacy.
"It would have only taken 14,000
See PRIMARY on Page 8
Weekend conference focuses on
gay, lesbian employee groups
By Jennifer Earls perspective of being out iia a workplace
Staff Reporter that is a little different from most —
Leaders of gay and lesbian employee what the good, the bad and the ugly
groups across the nation will gather in have been, so to speak," said Maxey,
Dallas this weekend for an a conference the only acknowledged gay person
focusing on workplace issues and orga- ever elected to the Texas Legislature,
nization development. "A conference like this is always
Leadership Lambda, a local group good because it helps people get a per-
dedicated to developing leadership spective of how others are facing
skills, will host the 1998 Progress unique challenges in the workplace,"
Summit for workplace leaders sched- Maxey said. "We always know that
uled Friday through Sunday at the people are going to feel fairly isolated
Fairmont Hotel. in the workplace. It's a typical situation.
State Rep. Glen Maxey, D-Austin, In a company of 100 there may be five
will deliver the keynote address. people that are openly gay. [The confer-
"I'm going to talk from my unique Continued on Page 8
FEBRUARY 13, 1998 DALLAS VOICE
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Vercher, Dennis. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 46, Ed. 1 Friday, March 13, 1998, newspaper, March 13, 1998; Dallas, Texas. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth616063/m1/6/: accessed April 26, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.