Cynthia Reyes-Revilla and Mario Castillo are in a runoff to represent Houston’s District H, which encompasses a fair portion of Houston’s northside. Either Reyes-Revilla or Castillo will succeed Karla Cisneros, who is term-limited. Although Houston’s mayoral election is dominating local headlines, a campaign flyer caught the attention of many.
CYNTHIA REYES-REVILLA: Lifetime Record of Creating Safer and Healthier Communities
Committed Christian Family Values: As a devoted Christian and mother of two, Cynthia embodies the principles of compassion, integrity, and service. She believes in leading by example and making decisions that reflect the moral and ethical standards valued in our community.
Collaborative Innovator: Cynthia has a unwavering dedication to our public safety and has led significant community service initiatives. She will forge strong partnerships with law enforcement and local organizations to create a safer, healthier, and more unified District H for every resident.
MARIO CASTILLO: District H deserves a leader with Integrity and the right values
Not a man of Faith: He claims to be involved with local churches but is involved with and endorsed by Secular Houston who supports other atheist organizations.
Many have felt that there was something amiss with Reyes-Revilla’s heteronormativity.
On the right of the flyer – which was sent in a text message blast to District H voters on Thursday by Reyes-Revilla's election campaign – is a photo of her opponent in the Dec. 9 runoff, Mario Castillo, sitting with his husband. The wording below describes him as untrustworthy and "not a man of faith."
The campaign messaging has drawn criticism from Castillo's campaign and the Houston LGBTQ+ Political Caucus, which has endorsed Castillo. Austin Davis Ruiz, the president of the caucus, referred to the flyer as a "homophobic dog whistle" in a social media post.
In a Friday interview with Houston Public Media, Ruiz also called it "abhorrent" and "disgusting."
"It's really beneath her and beneath the office to stoop to this level and to try and get Latino voters in the district to vote for her via homophobia," Ruiz said. "It's just bewildering to me that this is happening in 2023."
Cynthia Reyes-Revilla remains steadfast when it comes to her message.
Reyes-Revilla, in a statement to Houston Public Media, acknowledged the message in question was sent by her campaign and said it was "intended as a comparison piece to share facts and information about the opponent and myself." She said she has been the "subject and target of many defamatory and untrue accusations by my opponent" and "felt it necessary to counter these attacks against me and the campaign."
"I am and have always been a supporter of the LGBTQ community and I am proud to say that half of my team and supporters are from this community," Reyes-Revilla added.
Although she racked up endorsements from the likes of the Greater Heights Democratic Club and Run Sister Run, some public figures, such as Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez and Harris County Precinct 2 Commissioner Adrian Garcia, have rescinded their endorsements. Reyes-Revilla was unbothered about it, however.