Hypothetical situation here: you’re a white conservative candidate running for office in an area with a primarily black Democratic constituency. So, how do you win? I guess you could take the traditional route and try to win over the electorate by convincing them that you will best represent their interests. Or you could get a little creative and, say, invent a completely fake alternate persona in the hopes that you’ll confuse people into voting for you.

Think option two sounds a little far fetched? Think again!

Dave Wilson, a conservative candidate in Texas, chose the latter option and won:

If a white guy didn’t have a chance in a mostly African-American district, Wilson would lead voters to think he’s black.

And it apparently worked. In one of the biggest political upsets in Houston politics this election season, Wilson – an anti-gay activist and former fringe candidate for mayor – emerged as the surprise winner over 24-year incumbent Bruce Austin. His razor thin margin of victory, only 26 votes, was almost certainly influenced by his racially tinged campaign.

“Every time a politician talks, he’s out there deceiving voters,” he says.

Specifically, Wilson distributed flyers depicting smiling African Americans with the slogan, “Please vote for our friend and neighbor Dave Wilson.” The pictures? They were from a simple internet search. But the scam gets even more ridiculous:

One of his mailers said he was “Endorsed by Ron Wilson,” which longtime Houston voters might easily interpret as a statement of support from a former state representative of the same name who’s also African-American. Fine print beneath the headline says “Ron Wilson and Dave Wilson are cousins,” a reference to one of Wilson’s relatives living in Iowa.

Now, politicians lie all the time, but it’s usually about policy – not about their own identity! Over the past few weeks people have been furious with Obama for misleading Americans about whether or not they can keep their own insurance plan under the Affordable Care Act, but this story is another beast entirely. For a comparable lie, Obama would have to lie to the American people about being a natural born citizen of the U.S., when in fact he was actually a Socialist from Kenya – and sorry Donald Trump, those claims never came to fruition.

Unless there’s a recount, there is nothing voters can do about Dave Wilson – and can you really expect him to fairly represent his constituents if he lied about his ethnicity?

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