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Dallas Gay Activist and Leather Bar Owner Running for Governor in Texas


A longtime gay activist and  owner of a popular gay leather bar in Dallas has entered Texas’s governor’s race  as a Democratic candidate.

Jeffrey Payne, who won the title of International Mr Leather in 2009, hopes to challenge the state’s current Republican governor, Greg Abbott, who announced his bid for reelection last week. 

In a statement, Mr Payne said Texans are tired of the Governor wasting time on “trivial legislation”.

“Texas needs a Governor who believes in Real Texas Values, like integrity, honesty, freedom and independence,” Mr Payne said. “We need to stop wasting our time and money on trivial legislation and start investing in finding ways to help Texans, their families, and their businesses prosper.” 

Payne said he does not think Texas voters will focus on his same-sex marriage – or,  his connections to the  gay leather community and intends to use $2.5 million dollars of his own money to his campaign,

The last time Texas elected a Democrat Governor was in 1991 



Will Kohler

Will Kohler is a noted LGBT historian, journalist and owner of Back2Stonewall.com. A longtime gay activist, Will fought on the front lines of the AIDS epidemic with ACT-UP and continues fighting today for LGBT acceptance and full equality. Will’s work has been referenced in notable media venues as MSNBC and BBC News, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, Hollywood Reporter, and Raw Story,

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