Mayoral Horse Race 

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In an op-ed in the last issue of the Current, Frederick Williams noted that District 2 City Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, who is being considered for the interim mayor position, was hailed by members of the black community for being effective but met with criticism from the LGBT community. In 2013, Taylor voted against a city ordinance banning discrimination based on sexual preference and gender expression. Despite her vote, the NDO passed easily, supported by representatives of districts just as socially conservative as Taylor’s East Side. If Taylor is selected as interim mayor, she may have a chance to attempt to mend fences and maybe she already is doing so. But her 2013 vote could still be a substantial hurdle for any future politicking.

In his popular progressive Texas politics blog Off the Kuff, Charles Kuffner rebukes Williams’ assertion that Taylor should be given the chance to “evolve” on LGBT rights: “President Obama stuck his neck out and showed leadership in 2012. Ivy Taylor had a chance to do that in 2013, with much lower stakes, and she declined.”

Given that Taylor has not expressed any interest in running in the general mayoral election, some local politicos are predicting she’ll instead look to further her political career in the state legislature. Yet, if that’s the case, she’ll need the support of state Democrats, who recently included “Personal Security and Equal Protection for LGTBQ Texans” as part of the party’s platform. Only time will tell if Taylor will choose to get in step with LGBT rights, or stay hindered by a small, but vocal, group of constituents.

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March 25, 2020

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