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Anderson Plays Gay Card Against Challenger Ogg

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By John Wright

Trailing in the polls, Republican Harris County District Attorney Devon Anderson has apparently resorted to attacking Democratic Challenger Kim Ogg’s sexual orientation.

During an interview with The American Chronicles podcast that was published Tuesday, Anderson said Ogg would be a “liberal, pro-choice, lesbian district attorney.”

Anderson made the comment while addressing criticism from some conservatives over her decision to prosecute pro-life activist David Daleidin in connection with his undercover Planned Parenthood videos. The charges against Daleidin were later dismissed.

“We filed over 116,000 cases last year,” Anderson said. “That’s about how many we file every year. They have a problem with me on one, maybe two cases. When they get a liberal, pro-choice, lesbian district attorney, I wonder how many cases they’ll have problems with with her.”

Ogg said Friday in a statement that Anderson’s comments about her sexual orientation were “further evidence of her poor judgment.”

“It is not surprising that a District Attorney who jails rape victims would resort to homophobic attacks on me and my family in the closing days before voting begins,” Ogg said.

According to the statement from her campaign, “Ogg further criticized Anderson’s comments as highly inappropriate for a public official whose duty is to treat all people equally under the law.

“Ogg believes that it is clear by Anderson’s hateful and bigoted description that she cannot be trusted to ensure the safety of the LGBTQ community or any other,” the statement said.

Sara Kinney, a spokeswoman for Anderson’s campaign, said the incumbent’s comments about Ogg’s sexual orientation were being taken “completely taken out of context.”

“She was talking about a conservative voter, why they would have problems with Kim Ogg as a district attorney,” Kinney said. “If someone is pro-traditional marriage, they’re going to have a problem with her being a lesbian. … It’s just a statement of facts. I appreciate your attempts to make it something more, but it just isn’t.”

After being appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to replace her late husband as DA in 2013, Anderson narrowly defeated Ogg two years ago. But a University of Houston poll released this week shows Ogg leading Anderson by seven points in their current race.

Anderson’s comments about Ogg’s sexual orientation were first reported by Republican commentator David Jennings at Big Jolly Politics, in a post endorsing Ogg on Thursday.

On Wednesday, Big Jolly Politics published emails that are reportedly being circulated in Republican clubs and church groups about the DA’s race. One of the emails was signed by Carolyn Vance, the wife of Republican former District Attorney Carol Vance.

“I have been told that Kim Ogg was a good prosecutor in her time at the DA’s office, but I have also been told that she is a lesbian and has a partner,” Vance wrote, according to Big Jolly Politics. “Having seen our lesbian former mayor marrying her partner and kissing her in public, plus remembering her unrighteous stand on the bathroom issue – all of that leads me to believe that Devon Anderson will get my vote!”

In another email, the unidentified author encouraged recipients to “please be aware that the opponent KIM OGG is a LESBIAN,” according to Big Jolly Politics.

“As a lesbian I think we can be sure that Ms. Ogg will promote this agenda,” author wrote. “We have just fought this demon with Anise [sic] Parker.”

Listen Devon Anderson’s comments on Kim Ogg below.

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John Wright

John Wright is the editor of OutSmart magazine. He has spent two decades in the mainstream and LGBTQ media. Most recently, he served as senior editor of Dallas Voice, and covered LGBTQ issues in the state Legislature for The Texas Observer. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Wright earned his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida. He resides in the EaDo area of Houston, where he is currently remodeling a 1930s row house.
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