In the Dallas run-off election for mayor on Saturday, Tom Leppert took 58 percent of the vote to Ed Oakley’s 42 percent. A win for Oakley would have made him the first openly gay mayor of a major U.S. city.
The Dallas Morning News reports: “During the runoff, Mr. Oakley sought to portray Mr. Leppert as an unscrupulous corporate baron in a series of campaign commercials and mailers. But the charges barely affected voters’ image of Mr. Leppert as a God-fearing family man reared without privilege by a loving single mother.”
Oakley conceded while holding back tears, according to the paper (video): “I told Tom he won a great race. Tom will be a good leader. There are nine other people who would have loved to have a chance to do a runoff. I have enjoyed immensely the Dallas City Council,” Mr. Oakley continued. “We really have set the city on a path to greatness. I truly, truly have enjoyed the ride.”
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which assisted Oakley’s campaign, praised the candidate: “They say ‘close’ doesn’t count in politics, but Ed Oakley’s historic campaign may have changed politics forever. That an openly gay man was a serious contender to become mayor of one the largest cities in America is a testament to the fair-mindedness of this country, and a wake-up call for the political establishment. Ed ran neck and neck with a self-funded opponent, but he never ran away from the truth about his sexual orientation. We are enormously proud of Ed and his campaign team, and grateful to our donors who believed in this campaign from its inception.”