The Texas bordertown of Del Rio (population 40,549) just elected Bruno Lozano as its mayor. He’s an openly gay Air Force veteran who previously marched in the city’s Veteran’s Day parade in high heels. The newly elected gay Texas mayor won 62% of the vote, beating out his incumbent opponent, and — surprisingly — his sexual orientation only came up once (in a nasty Facebook post) during the campaign.
Lozano ran on a campaign of generational change, government accountability and promising to help restore the city’s flagging winter-season tourism. He had once worked as an environmental activist, helping clean up the city’s waterways. (The city rests on the Rio Grande River, which separates south Texas from Mexico.)
In a pre-election interview with the bilingual newspaper Conexion Del Rio, Lozano said, “It is time for new ideas and new visions of the future. It is time the next generation takes action and gets involved in local politics.”
His campaign ad (below) emphasized his family’s three generations of military service, his being born and raised in Del Rio and the international perspectives he gained while traveling around the world as the employee of an international airline.
Here is the campaign ad of gay Texas mayor Bruno Lozano:
In a recent chat with journalist Nico Lang, Lozano said that his sexual orientation only came up once during the campaign, in a nasty Facebook post that called him a “faggot with AIDS.” But Lozano didn’t back down from the online hatred.
“Stonewall happened because drag queens and a minority group stood up to animosity, and I had to go back in the closet [while in the Air Force] because of that same hatred,” he said. “I know what that was like, and it translates to today’s campaign. I’m not going to bow down. I am who I am. Accept me or not.”
Texas has had other LGBTQ mayors, including lesbian Houston mayor Annise Parker and infamous San Angelo mayor J.W. Lown who fled town before his fourth term to live with his male lover in Mexico.
In other Texas LGBTQ election news, Jess Herbst, the mayor of New Hope, came out as transgender after becoming mayor in May 2016. She lost her recent election to become mayor once again, coming in third place in a four-way race.