(Debate moderator and ABC-13 anchor Gina) Gaston: Mr. Locke, are you comfortable with political help or endorsements by people who oppose Annise Parker solely on the basis of her sexual orientation?
Locke: The reality is this: Both Annise and I oppose bigotry. Both Annise and I have been victims of bigoted attacks during this campaign. But this election is not about me or her. It's about which of us has the best chance to move this city forward -- to keep it safe, to grow jobs, to protect our neighborhoods and give a quality of life to our citizens. Understanding that, I will accept endorsements from those people who believe that I am the best candidate, and they would join a long list of folks who have endorsed me, from the police officers union to the firefighters to the Realtors to the home builders to the Teamsters. I think my criteria is, do you believe I am the best candidate, and if you do I accept your endorsement.Parker: The mayor of Houston must represent all Houstonians and do it effectively. But the mayor of Houston does not have to embrace all of their ideas, and there are certain endorsements that I don't believe are appropriate to accept.
Gaston: Do you accept those endorsements of people who are choosing your campaign over hers based solely on that one issue?Locke: If it's based solely on that one issue I've rejected them. If it's based on looking at my record and seeing that I am the better candidate I would accept them.
So let's get this straight (no pun intended): Locke will accept Hotze's endorsement not because Hotze is a homophobe, but because Locke isn't. The endorsement of a virulent bigot is acceptable not because Gene Locke is also the same sort of bigot, but because the bigot thinks Locke has been a successful attorney. Or has been endorsed by the police officer's union. Or something.
Seeing as how Locke insists he has never been a lobbyist when in fact he was registered with the state of Texas as one, perhaps he is also forgetting -- or wants us to forget -- that he asked for this endorsement. And he did not seek it because Hotze was about to endorse Parker. And Hotze most certainly is not endorsing Locke because of "his record", no matter what Locke says.
Then again ... maybe he is.
More from last night's debate here. KTRK has the entire debate file videos posted; you can see the specific exchange excerpted above here.