Central Texas doesn’t get a lot of public officials coming out of the closet, either about their sexual orientation or about their emotional relationships with undocumented immigrants, but the city of San Angelo got a double whammy when Mayor J.W. Lown sent in a resignation letter “from an undisclosed location in Mexico“, revealing the nature of his personal life (see a video of the reading of the letter above). The Houston Chronicle reports:
What made it stunning wasn’t the status of Lown’s office, which pays $600 a year, but the status of his lover.
Lown fell for an illegal Mexican immigrant.
Lown told the San Angelo Standard-Times he had fallen for the man in March, after he had already filed for re-election. The man came to the U.S. five years ago to study at Angelo State University.
It was unclear whether he had a student visa, but if he did it apparently had expired.
Lown told the Standard-Times he chose not to take the oath of office while “aiding and assisting” a person who was illegally in the country.
Lown had been an extraordinarily popular mayor. Only 32 years old, he was elected in 2003 as the city’s youngest mayor. Serving in an office that inevitably requires decisions that accumulate enemies, he managed to get re-elected three times with increasing margins of victory each time. Two weeks ago he defeated two challengers by garnering 89 percent of the vote.
Lown did not give the name of his lover, but said he planned to stay in Mexico to try to obtain a visa so that his partner can return with him if “the people of San Angelo will welcome me back.”
Hats off to Mayor Lown on his courage and honesty. Here’s hoping his partner gets a visa and San Angelo will indeed let him come home.
Check out a tape of the official press conference after the jump. It’s quite poignant.
GoSanAngelo.com has the story in detail.
Via / Chron.com