Last week, Dave Wilson won a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees, defeating a 24-year incumbent by a margin of 50.1 percent to 49.9 percent of the vote. The district is made up largely of African American voters. Wilson is White and his opponent, Bruce Austin, is Black.
Wilson’s campaign literature showed pictures of African Americans he had downloaded from the Internet and included the headline, “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.”
Another mailer said that Wilson “was endorsed by Ron Wilson.” Ron Wilson is a former Texas state representative, who is African American. The fine print on the mailer revealed that the Ron Wilson who endorsed Dave Wilson was really his cousin from Iowa.
Interviewed on CNN, Wilson said, “I wanted to run this campaign on the issues, not my skin color. Because it was an African-American district, I didn’t feel like putting my picture on any of those brochures would get me any votes. You can’t sell maternity clothes to a bunch of men.”
Austin told the Houston Chronicle, “This is one of the few times a White guy has pretended to be a Black guy and fooled Black people.”