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Former Houston Mayor Annise Parker to lead LGBTQ Victory Fund

Parker takes over from Aisha C. Moodie Mills, who has led the organizations in fighting for LGBTQ representation in politics for over two years
IMAGE: Houston Mayor Annise Parker
Houston Mayor Annise Parker speaks to supporters of the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance at a watch party Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2015, in Houston. Pat Sullivan / AP

Annise Parker, the first openly LGBTQ mayor of Houston, will serve as the new president and CEO of the Victory Fund and Victory Institute, two organizations that fight to increase LGBTQ representation in politics.

Parker will take over this leadership role from Aisha C. Moodie-Mills, a former political adviser and fundraiser who is resigning from the helm of both organizations.

Kim Hoover, the board chair of One Victory -- which oversees both the fund and the institute -- said that Parker is well positioned to pick up where Moodie-Mills has left off.

“Annise understands the challenges inherent in running and winning elected office, and she’s ideally positioned to help us fulfill our mission now and in the future,” Hoover said in a statement.

The transition in leadership comes at a key time for gay representation in politics, with more openly LGBTQ candidates running for elected office in 2018 than ever before.

Parker, who credited Victory with helping her win her earliest races for Houston City Council through her historic run for mayor, said she is “thrilled” to lead both organizations and push for greater representation and change.

“2018 could be a historic year for our community,” she said in a statement, “and I am confident we will be a difference-maker in helping these candidates across the finish line.”

Her tenure in Houston from 2010 to 2016 made her the city’s second female mayor and one of the first openly LGBTQ mayors in a major U.S. city.

To date, Houston is the most populous city in the country to have voted an openly LGBTQ mayor into office.

Moodie-Mills, who began her role in April 2015, said she is proud to be putting the Victory Fund and Victory Institute in a spot for growth at a “turning point” in the movement for LGBTQ political representation.

“We witnessed a surge in the number of LGBTQ people from across the country who want to run for office and be our voice in the halls of power,” she said in a statement. “It has been so personally rewarding for me to have helped historic candidates win elections thought impossible just a few years ago.”

The most recent election cycle saw historic victories for openly LGBTQ candidates across the country, including the election of Danica Roem as Virginia’s first openly transgender lawmaker, and Andrea Jenkins as the first black openly trans woman elected to public office.

Moodie-Mills suggested on Twitter that she will continue to remain involved in politics, refocusing her efforts to “help progressives set a new course.”

Parker will begin her role leading the Victory Institute on Dec. 11.