Katie LaPotin, Red Alert Politics, November 12, 2013
The Texas Republican who won a long shot bid for the Houston Community College Board of Trustees last week by suggesting in his campaign literature that he was black has finally spoken out about the alleged subterfuge, claiming that he always wanted the race to be about the issues and didn’t think his brochures would have such a big effect on the campaign’s final outcome.
“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,” newly elected Trustee Dave Wilson told Chris Cuomo on CNN’s “New Day” Tuesday morning.
Wilson’s controversial brochure featured pictures of African-Americans that Wilson pulled off the Internet, along with the words “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” He told Cuomo that he didn’t believe the brochure was deceptive, and that he was using targeting marketing practices to persuade voters to cast their ballots for him.
“You can’t sell maternity clothes to a bunch of men,” he said.
Wilson also told Cuomo that he had appeared at a number of public events throughout the campaign and that several videos of him speaking to local voters appear on his campaign’s YouTube page – thus educated voters would know that he was, indeed, not black.
According to Wilson, his opponent in the race, 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin, had circulated images of Wilson with “inflammatory, racist” comments to inform voters of his background. Wilson ultimately beat Austin by just 26 votes on Election Day, telling reporters shortly after the win that he honestly didn’t expect to win.
“I think people in that district are not getting enough credit in their intelligence and who they’re voting for,” Wilson replied, adding that the voters were making a statement about Austin by voting for him.
Cuomo, whose family is deeply rooted in New York Democratic politics (his brother is the state’s sitting governor, a position their father held back in the 1980s), is unabashedly liberal to the point where he tried to nail Wilson for misleading voters with a “ploy” that he was endorsed by a popular, longtime African-American politician from the area when he wasn’t. The endorsement by “Ron Wilson” that was printed on Wilson’s campaign literature came from a cousin of the candidate, a fact notated in the fine print of the flyer.
“I live in that district,” Wilson quipped. “The people that said they’re deceived is my opponent, Bruce Austin, and the liberal news media.”