Manuel Medina, the chairman of the Bexar County Democratic Party who’s running for re-election, sent out a mailer in which he claims the endorsement of an LGBT group which may not exist.
In a glossy flyer that began arriving in voter’s mailboxes on February 1, Medina claims several endorsements, including one by the Bexar County LGBTQIA Democratic Caucus.
A search on Facebook, Google and elsewhere could find no contact information for an organization by that name. Out In SA sent Medina an email via his Facebook account asking for information about the group but did not receive a reply.
Out In SA also contacted local LGBT political activists who said they never heard of the Bexar County LGBTQIA Democratic Caucus.
“Who is on this caucus? When was it created? I never heard of it,” Maria Salazar, an attorney and vice president of the local LGBT LULAC chapter, said via Facebook. Chris Forbrich, co-chair of the Stonewall Democrats of San Antonio, was among those who echoed Salazar’s comments.
One source Out In SA spoke with suggested Medina had to be “creative” in order to show he had LGBT support considering that on January 28 the Stonewall Democrats endorsed his opponent, Monica Ramirez Alcantara, who has a lesbian daughter and a trans campaign manager.
After an exhaustive search, Out In SA concluded the Bexar County LGBTQIA Democratic Caucus, if it really does exist, must be a very small group with no internet or social media presence. If that’s the case, how significant is such an “endorsement” for Medina?
Since he became the Bexar County Democratic Party chairman in 2012, Medina has said he is a friend to the LGBT community. However, he’s played fast and loose with his allegiance.
In 2015, Medina signed a “faith based platform” developed by the San Antonio Christian Leaders Forum that contains planks promising to “protect and defend the sanctity of life” and “protect, defend and support the traditional family.”
“Anyone familiar with the kind of euphemistic code language employed in American politics would recognize the former plank as an anti-choice statement on abortion, and the latter one as a rejection of pro-LGBT legislation,” columnist Gilbert Garcia wrote in the San Antonio Express-News about the platform.
When he ran for mayor in 2017, Medina was endorsed by George Rodriguez, the former president of the San Antonio Tea Party, a group that vehemently opposed the passage of the nondiscrimination ordinance. At the time, Medina told Out In SA he and the Tea Party had agreed to disagree on certain issues and their support of him had to do with their mutual agreement on fiscal issues.
Medina also hired former District 10 Councilman Carlton Soules, a conservative Republican, to work on his campaign. It was such alliances which contributed to Medina not getting his mayoral run endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats.
Now, as Medina faces another election without a nod from a major LGBT organization, he appears to be “winging it” with his list of endorsements, apparently hoping no one will notice.