HOUSTON (FOX 26) - In a clear break with decades of tradition, the leadership of Harris County's Republican Party has plunged head first into the non-partisan Houston mayoral race by launching an attack letter at a single candidate, Ben Hall.
The letter correctly identifies Hall as a Democrat, but then wrongly claims Hall in 2013 supported the kind of equal rights ordinance he now opposes.
"This is a disappointing development because it shows the lack of character of someone whose motivating this lie. Just a little more research and they would have found out that I opposed HERO in 2013 contrary to the suggestion in the flyer," said Hall.
Hall backed his defense with a radio recording which confirms his past opposition to a measure which, in it's present form, grants transgender folks freedom to access the bathroom of their choice.
"Persons who are anatomically one way can use bathrooms of a different sex. I would not support that and would rescind that and the voters need to know that," said Hall in a broadcast of "Houston Matters" October 28, 2013.
The Republican party's attack has angered influential social conservatives like Dr. Steven Hotze whose urging values voters through mass mailings to fully support Hall.
"This whole concept that because a man feels like a woman he has the opportunity to go into a woman's bathroom, that's wrong headed, that's nonsense, so we are are standing for candidates like Ben Hall who has forcefully, for two elections, been in opposition to this ordinance," said Hotze adding, "Ben Hall has been a consistent social conservative."
Harris County Republican Chairman Paul Simpson stands by the attack flyer saying Hall supports President Barack Obama and other prominent members of the Democratic Party and doesn't deserve GOP support.
Simpson says the party passed a resolution opposing HERO and will directly attack all the Democrats in the mayoral field but will not endorse a candidate.