Anti-Gay Tactics In Texas Race?

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Are there dirty politics at work in Texas? Phyllis Cole says, “yes.”

The City Commissioner of Plano, Texas, Cole accuses her enemies of enlisting some unseemly practices to derail her campaign, primarily the implication that her gay ally, 23-year old Justin Nichols’ homosexuality makes him unfit for children:

An openly gay City Council candidate is being used like a pawn in an effort by right-wing conservatives to seize control of the Collin County Commission.

This is according to County Commissioner Phyllis Cole, who faces an April 8 runoff against Matt Shaheen for the Precinct 2 seat she’s occupied for the last 17 years.

An anonymous e-mail reportedly was sent out last week attacking Cole for her support of Collin County Teen Court coordinator Justin Nichols, 23.

The e-mail stated,“Look who Phyllis appointed to work with your kids,” and contained a link to a March 14 Dallas Voice article about Nichols, who’s vying to become the first-ever openly gay member of the City Council in the May 10 municipal election.

“I’m very disturbed about the whole thing, because I like what Justin does, I like Justin,” Cole said. “I don’t want to be a commissioner anymore if this is what’s going to be involved, taking a nice young man like Justin and hanging him out to dry.”

Shaheen, for the record, denies smearing Nichols, who happens to be the city’s youngest city council candidate ever.