Toss TX Gov Rick Perry: gay-friendly candidate Chris Bell in the wings
Chris Bell is close to a decision on whether to make a run to toss the current, homophobic governor out on his *ss.
Texas Gubernatorial hopeful Chris Bell stopped just short of announcing he would try to unseat Republican Gov. Rick Perry in the 2006 election during an appearance at a Stonewall Democrats of Dallas meeting on Tuesday night. I’m leaning heavily toward making a go of it,” said Bell, a former U.S. congressman and Houston City Council member who grew up in Highland Park in the Dallas area.
Michael Moon, president of Stonewall Democrats of Dallas, said that Bell charmed the audience of about 100. “A lot of folks came up to me after the meeting,” Moon said. “They were extremely impressed with him.” Bell has crisscrossed the state since January in an exploratory campaign to determine if he will run. Part of the research involved a meeting with former Gov. Ann Richards last week, he said.
“My friends, this is our time,” Bell said. “We are the ones, we’ve been waiting for and it’s time we get in this fight.” If he runs for the governor’s office, Bell said that he would link his campaign to the anti-gay-marriage amendment that will be on the ballot in November 2005 by opposing it. Obviously, it is unnecessary,” Bell said. “It is nonsense.” State law already prohibits marriage between same-sex couples, and no court in Texas would be likely to ever challenge the law, he said.
Bell, who filed an ethics complaint against Tom DeLay, majority leader in the House of Representatives, when he was a congressman, said that Governor Perry’s and other conservatives’ support of the amendment is a transparent effort to drive wedges between the state’s voters. He said that the measure goes against everything he envisions for a “new mainstream” in Texas. Bell said that Governor Perry leads a government that no longer reflects the ethics and values of the majority of Texans. The current government’s office panders to the wealthy, the politically well connected along strict partisan lines.
“In the mainstream I’m talking about there are no big people and no little people,” Bell said. “We recognize that we are all in this together. We can’t afford to leave anyone behind.” Much of Bell’s speech was dedicated to lambasting Governor Perry, whom he described as being incapable of leading a silent prayer. Bell told about the gay Democrats and their visitors at the meeting that he would offer the state’s GLBT community the same representation and benefits that he planned for the state’s other communities.
“I find that my friends from the GLBT community don’t want anything specifically designed for themselves,” Bell said. “They care about the same things that everyone else does. I think the biggest mistake that people in politics make is assuming that folks from the GLBT community are so very different from themselves.”
Bell, who is married and the father of two, said that heterosexual people often ask him about the gay and lesbian community. “I explain that they put their pants on the same way you do,” Bell said. “They just might be a little tighter sometimes.”
Bell said that he would announce his decision about running at the end of July.