Poll: Parker ahead in mayor's race

December 10, 2009 4:50:04 PM PST
A new poll says Houston's openly gay city controller has pulled ahead in the race to be mayor of the nation's fourth largest city just days before a runoff election. According to a poll released Thursday by Rice University in Houston, Annise Parker leads former city attorney Gene Locke 49 percent to 36 percent.

It's believed a victory by Parker in Saturday's runoff would make Houston the nation's largest city to be led by an openly gay person.

Parker's sexual orientation was never an issue in her political career.

But it took a more prominent role in the mayor's race in the weeks leading up to the runoff as anti-gay activists and conservative religious groups have endorsed Locke.