Politics

Houston city council candidate drops endorsements after backlash of flyer criticized as “homophobic dog whistle”

In a statement on Saturday, Reyes-Revilla said she was publicly releasing the endorsements of Gonzalez and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

Mario Castillo Cynthia Reyes-Revilla
Campaigns for Mario Castillo and Cynthia Reyes-Revilla
Mario Castillo, left, is facing Cynthia Reyes-Revilla, right, in a runoff election for the District H seat on the Houston City Council.

Houston city council candidate Cynthia Reyes-Revilla, District H, has lost two endorsements since one of her questionable campaign flyers was criticized as “homophobic dog whistle” on social media last week.

The flyer, which has drawn criticism online from her opponent Mario Castillo and his campaign, represented Reyes-Revilla as a “devoted Christian” with a “lifetime record of creating safer and healthier communities.” A paragraph representing Castillo as “untrustworthy” and “not a man of faith” is directly under a photograph of Castillo with his husband.

Cynthia Reyes-Revilla Campaign Flyer
Campaign for Mario Castillo
This political flyer was distributed to District H voters in Houston by the campaign for candidate Cynthia Reyes-Revilla.

Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez on Saturday said he withdrew his endorsement of Reyes-Revilla “because of her campaign’s inexcusable attack on our LGBTQI+ community.”

“No room for that on our City Council,” he said on X, formerly known as Twitter.

In a statement released at the same time as Gonzalez’s post, Reyes-Revilla said she was publicly releasing the endorsements of Gonzalez and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia.

“This is at my own will and I need to do what is best for my campaign, personal perceptions/ opinions and for the sake of relationships.”

In a Friday post to X, Garcia said he was aware of the “hateful mailer” from Reyes-Revilla’s campaign.

“The message is an affront to the LGBTQ+ community & I’ve urged Cynthia to apologize,” he said. “She should be better than this. Nastiness doesn’t serve anyone. The word ‘disappointed’ does not do justice in describing how I feel.”

Austin Davis Ruiz, president of the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus, an endorser of Castillo, told Houston Public Media on Friday that the flyer was abhorrent and disgusting.

Grant Martin, a representative for Castillo’s campaign called the flyer an “age-old tactic for gay-baiting.”