HOUSTON (FOX 26) - On the eve of a municipal election that's drawn a heavy crowd of early voters, progressive pastors gathered to proclaim their support for Houston's Prop 1, the ballot issue that's dividing the community and attracting many who don't normally visit the polls.
"Our faith leads us to be a light that shines on a hill showing those around that we take inclusion, justice and love seriously," said Rev. Jenni Martin Fairbanks in support of HERO.
"HERO serves as a local tool to insure all Houstonians will enjoy protection from discrimination," added Rabbi Joshua Herman of Congregation Beth Israel.
And yet Mayoral candidate Ben Hall believes Anti-Hero voters vastly outnumber those favoring the ordinance. As the earliest and most outspoken opponent of granting bathroom access of choice to transgender people, the former City attorney says he'll ride the wave of HERO rejection into the run-off.
"Two to one people are coming out of those polls telling us not only did they vote against HERO, but they voted for Ben Hall," said Hall whose drawn the endorsement of hundreds of conservative clergy.
It's a prediction that would propel Adrian Garcia and others into the ranks of the "also rans". Today, the former Sheriff worked door to door on the Hispanic east side looking to energize an often laconic Latino turnout.
"If I happen to be the first Hispanic mayor that's going to be humbling, but I want the community to know that their voice can be loud. It can be heard. It will be heard," said Garcia.
Bill King is the candidate pollsters and pundits alike believe has pushed past Garcia. The most conservative candidate in the field fended off a weekend Twitter attack from Mayor Annise Parker who urged Houstonians to select anyone but the well known Chronicle columnist.
"I mean we had a major spill of raw sewage into the bayous we had some houses flooded this weekend I would have thought she had something better to do, but apparently not," said King who adds Parker is clearly defensive about the many problems in City government his campaign has highlighted.
Meantime, former Congressman Chris Bell hopes charges of corruption and incompetence lodged against other candidates will move undecided voters into his camp.
"I think ethics are more important than politics and I think it's fair to bring that up. Some of my opponents in this race have some pretty significant ethical baggage. I don't," said Bell.
Fox 26 reached out to State Representative Sylvester Turner but was told the mayoral race frontrunner was unavailable.