Houston politician Dave Wilson succeeded in winning the local election in his town recently, and although this was a definite victory for him, Houston locals have begun to believe that he may not be deserving of this win. Running against “24-year incumbent Bruce Austin”, Wilson knew he had to do something a little unorthodox in order to get the people in that particular area to vote for him, and that is just what he did. Wilson knew that being a conservative white Republican running in a district made up of predominantly all African Americans put him at a disadvantage, so in order to overcome this obstacle he came up with what some are referring to as a “disgusting campaign strategy” to help him pull ahead in the polls. During the campaign Wilson posted fliers of smiling African Americans with a caption that read “please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson” throughout all the local neighborhoods with fine print that read “Endorsed by Ron Wilson”. Although the addition of who the flier was endorsed by seems innocent enough, this was yet another deceiving campaign strategy made by Wilson. He counted on the fact that Houston natives might believe that the Ron Wilson mentioned in the flier was referring to a former African American state representative, when in all actuality he was really referencing his cousin from Iowa who happens to bare the same name. Wilson knew that by adding this minor detail to the flier, it had the potential to help encourage other African Americans to stand behind him as well, and in the end it was proven to be true. There was no picture of Wilson on these fliers, and although his website page included numerous photos of random African Americans, he neglected to add a picture of himself. Despite the many demands that there be a recount from incumbent Bruce Austin because he suspected foul play, political scientist Bob Stein of Rice University says “I suspect it’s more than just race,” and others in power must feel the same way because Dave Wilson is still holding his position proudly.
Although it would be easy to point the finger at Dave Wilson for his deceiving tactics, some blame should be placed on the voters as well. As a voter you have the responsibility of thoroughly researching candidates to find out what they really stand for and if they will indeed help bring about change. It is quite ridiculous that such a large portion of people were unaware of Dave Wilson’s true race, and it is even more surprising that they saw no problem with the fact that he neglected to add photos of himself. Voters should not base their decision to vote for someone just solely on race, but instead should vote because they share the same values as the person who is running for the position.