News Roundup: Transgender Mayor of Texas Town Loses Election

Our daily look at Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelMay 7, 2018 2:06 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

Residents in the tiny North Texas town of New Hope voted out their incumbent mayor Jess Herbst over the weekend. If Herbst had held onto the job, she would have become the first openly transgender elected official in Texas.

Herbst was appointed to the position in 2016 after the mayor at the time died suddenly of a heart attack. She came out as transgender soon after. She lost Saturday’s election to the former mayor’s widow, Angel Hamm. Lauren McGaughy covered the election results for The Dallas Morning News, and says Herbst wasn’t too surprised by the outcome.

“She believes the people that voted against her, won’t necessarily voting against her personally – they were voting against the concept of someone who is transgender being in the position,” McGaughey says. “So, she frankly didn’t take it very personally which may be surprising, but she’s just excited a lot of people came out to the polls for better or worse for her, and she hopes the town can move on from this and that everyone can come together in the aftermath of it.”

The race for mayor became more personal during the final weeks when an anonymous mailer featuring Herbst’s social media posts was circulated.McGaughy points out that while the loss for Herbst means Texas has yet to elect an openly transgender official, that could change in November.

“There are several more people, Transgender Texans, who are running for other offices this year,” McGaughy says. “So while she didn’t win, there are other people who might have that historic win and might become the first elected person who is openly transgender, so we will just have to wait until November to see how those elections shake out.”

The 2018 general election in Texas will be held on November 6th.



At the end of last week, the Trump Administration announced it was ending Temporary Protected Status for about 57,000 Hondurans.

Congress created TPS in 1990 to help people in areas facing humanitarian disasters, and to allow them to live and work in the United States. The end of the program for Hondurans – set for January of 2020 – is leaving as many as 6,000  individuals in Houston worried about how they can stay.

Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall has more:

Cristina Flores has been helping Hondurans with temporary protected status since Hurricane Mitch hit that country in 1999. Since today’s announcement the program would be ending, her phone has been ringing off the hook. She says her friends with jobs, kids and their lives in Houston are afraid.

“She asked me, ‘Cristina, what am I going to do?’ And believe me I don’t know what I say.”

Flores says she thinks most people will stay here, which will put them at risk of deportation.

Kate Vickery runs an immigration group in Houston. She says the move could tear apart families and hurt the economy.

“Many have US-born children, 85 percent of TPS holders are in the labor force and in a pretty diverse set of industries, so this will have a huge impact on the local economy.”

The administration says its ending protections because Honduras has sufficiently recovered from Hurricane Mitch.