A white Texas man under fire for running an ad campaign in which he allegedly pretended to be black to win says he never tried to deceive voters about the color of his skin.
"It's pretty obvious what color I am," Dave Wilson, a Houston-area electrician, told "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.
Wilson successfully ran to become a board member of Houston Community College, but critics say he intentionally misled voters into thinking he was an African American because he was running in a heavily black Democratic district.
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His campaign distributed fliers that didn't show his face but had pictures of African Americans instead. A caption read: "Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson."
He also trumpeted an endorsement from Ron Wilson, a popular black figure in Houston. But he was referring to a cousin who has the same name.
"I believe in target marketing. It wouldn't do me any good to put my picture on there. It wouldn't get me any votes," he said.
"What gets me votes is speaking to the issues of the voters in that community and leaving race totally out of it, and that's what my objective was, and that's why I did what I did."
Wilson insisted he made public appearances during his campaign and had to fight off a nasty flier his opponent produced.
"My opponent chose to send out a racial flier that depicted a right-wing hate monger. It has a big picture of me on it, my wife's face shining out there, and he described me as deceitful," he said.
"He called me a conservative Republican, and then the thing that I love on this flier is he said that I advocated bringing back chain gangs to clean the highways. I don't know where he got that."
Wilson was also slammed for a radio ad in which black people are heard using street slang.
"I had a consultant who wrote that radio commercial for me and used professional actors," Wilson said.
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