Dave Wilson beat a 24-year incumbent for a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees by a mere 26 votes by pretending to be black. Seriously.
Dave Wilson beat a 24-year incumbent for a seat on the Houston Community College Board of Trustees by a mere 26 votes by pretending to be black. Wilson, an electrician, had previously made headlines by attacking Houston's mayor for being a lesbian. He also attacked his opponent, Bruce Austin, for being unmarried. To win the seat, Wilson took advantage of recent scandals on the Board of Trustees, and the fact that no one knows who their Community College Board of Trustees members are, so you can get away with all sorts of claims that you couldn't in a higher profile election, like, say, that you're black.
Wilson never explicitly stated that he is African American, but he did distribute a flyer with stock photos of black people (he admitted to grabbing them off websites) with captions like, "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson." Another flyer announced that Wilson was endorsed by Ron Wilson. There is a former African American Texas State Rep. from the Houston area named Ron Wilson (voted out in 2004 after 30 years), so one would naturally assume that that's who the flyer was referring to. Voters who bothered to read the fine print on the election flyer learned that no, it wasn't the known Houston-area politician, it was Dave Wilson's cousin. Who lives in Iowa.
"Every time a politician talks, he's out there deceiving voters," he said, apparently forgetting that he had also just told KHOU that he was running for the seat because he was fed up with "all the shenanigans" at the Houston Community College system.
Dave Wilson might have a hard time winning reelection (in 6 years), as this story gets out, but this underlines a general difficulty with politics: most voters barely know the people at the top of the ticket, let alone the Community College Board of Trustees members. Democracy is the best system out there, but it is one messy process.