Gay candidates Gallegos, Capo win Houston runoffs

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Zeph Capo, above, was elected to the Houston Community College board. Robert Gallegos, below, was elected to the Houston City Council.

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Two openly gay candidates won runoffs Saturday in Houston.

Robert Gallegos captured the District I City Council seat, defeating Graci Garces after a nasty race that divided the city’s LGBT community. Gallegos was endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, but the Houston GLBT Political Caucus and the Houston Stonewall Young Democrats endorsed Garces, a straight ally.

Gallegos captured 53 percent of the vote to Garces’ 47 percent in the district that stretches from downtown into the East End, according to results from the Harris County clerk’s office.

Gallegos’ victory makes him the only openly gay Latino city council member in Texas. It also gives Houston two out council members, in addition to lesbian Mayor Annise Parker. Out Councilman Mike Laster was elected to a second term in November. Together Gallegos and Laster are two of only four openly gay city council members statewide — along with Joel Burns in Fort Worth and Scott Sherman in Pearland, according to the Victory Fund.

Meanwhile, gay candidate Zeph Capo won a runoff for the Houston Community College District 1 trustee seat. Capo will serve on the HCC board alongside anti-gay activist Dave Wilson, who won his race in November by pretending to be black.

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