Dallas May Elect First Openly Gay Mayor of a Major U.S. City

Tomorrow is the run-off election in Dallas between openly gay candidate Ed Oakley and Tom Leppert to fill the seat of outgoing mayor Laura Miller.

OakleyAccording to Reuters, “A poll this week by the Dallas Morning News showed Leppert had a narrow lead — 47 percent of those polled versus 45 percent for Oakley. But the margin of error was 5.8 percent, meaning the race is too close to call. At least one conservative group has mounted a phone campaign against Oakley based in part on his sexual orientation…Heritage Alliance PAC, a conservative activist group, says it made phone calls last Saturday to 50,000 Dallas homes to inform them about the high crime rates and school drop-out rates in Oakley’s district — and his sexual orientation. ‘We did not feel that the majority of voters knew Ed Oakley was a homosexual and we felt we needed to alert voters to that,’ said Heritage Alliance vice president Clare Jones. Leppert’s campaign described the calls as ‘hateful’ and said it did not want to be mistakenly associated with it.”

Neither Leppert nor Oakley have made Oakley’s sexual orientation an issue in the campaign.

Said Oakley campaign spokesman Craig Murphy: “The top issues are crime and taxes, which you would expect. That’s what we are focusing on because that’s what people are interested in.”