Annise Parker state Texas Usa city Houston politics Texas African-Americans Annise Parker state Texas Usa city Houston

Black Gay Candidates Make History With Primary Wins in Texas

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From left: Jolanda Jones, Christian Manuel-Hayes, and Venton JonesThanks to victories in primary runoffs Tuesday, Texas is poised to have its first Black gay male state legislators — and one Black lesbian, who won a special election just weeks ago to fill a vacancy, is likely to be elected to a full term.Before Jolanda Jones’s victory in the special election, Texas had never had a Black member of the LGBTQ+ community in the state legislature.

She won the special election May 7 in the Houston-area Texas House District 147 to succeed Rep. Garnet Coleman, who retired in February; that gave her the seat through December.

In the Democratic primary runoff, she defeated Danielle Keys Bess, who had also been her opponent in the special election. In November’s general election, Jones will face Republican Damien Thaddeus Jones, but the district is heavily Democratic, so she is expected to win.Jolanda Jones is a former member of the Houston City Council and the city’s school board. “Yet again, voters were excited by Jolanda’s exceptional experience and qualifications, proven track record and vision for the future,” Annise Parker, president and CEO of the LGBTQ Victory Fund, which had endorsed Jones, said in a press release. “She is a natural leader and fierce advocate who has dedicated her professional life to increasing fairness and equity in Texas, from increasing access to quality health care to improving public schools to safeguarding our right to free and fair elections.

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