White Republican Wins Election by Leading Voters to Believe He’s Black

Sent misleading fliers and direct mail to voters

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A conservative white Republican won a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees in a district where voters are overwhelmingly black democrats by leading voters to believe that he was black, reports local Houston affiliate KHOU.

Fliers with pictures pulled from the Internet of African Americans were mailed to voters, accompanied by the caption “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” Another letter noted “endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which Houston voters might assume referred to a black former state representative. However, the fine print read, “Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins.” 

Dave Wilson’s opponent, 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin who lost by 26 votes, called the strategy “disgusting.” He tried to counter Wilson’s campaign by passing out fliers with Wilson’s face on it and calling him a “right-wing hate monger” who “advocated bringing back chain gangs to clean highways.”

Wilson, an anti-gay activist and former fringe candidate for mayor, defended his strategy to local news outlet, KHOU, saying, “Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters.” If Wilson’s victory holds after the recount, he will serve a six-year term.