Anti-Atheist San Antonio Mayor Loses Run-Off Election

San Antonio mayor Ivy Taylor

San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor (the politician who blamed atheism for generational poverty claiming people without religion are “broken”) lost her mayor seat in a run-off election against opponent City Council member Ron Nirenberg. In the weekend election, Nirenberg took 55% of the total vote besting Taylor by a full ten points.

Anti-Atheist San Antonio Mayor Ivy Taylor loses electionLocal ABC affiliate KSAT 12 reported, “Following a Saturday runoff election, the Alamo City has elected a new mayor into office. Ron Nirenberg garnered 54.59 percent of the votes with 54,010 votes, beating out incumbent Ivy Taylor who obtained 45.41 percent of the votes with 44,919 votes.”

In a statement acknowledging her loss, Taylor said, “A majority of the votes have come in. It doesn’t look like it’s going the way that we anticipated this evening. But you know what? I am so grateful to God … I am at peace. I am so thankful to God for each and every person in this room, for your support, for your prayers, for being here.”

It was that lack of separation between her personal religious beliefs and her obligation to serve as a taxpayer-funded official that may have led to her defeat.

During a candidate forum in late April, Taylor explained to a crowd of people that poverty in her city was due in large part to people being “broken” because they had no “relationship with their Creator.” Following national outrage over her comments, Taylor doubled down on Facebook proclaiming her comments were edited. After posting the full 90 minute video of the forum (which demonstrated her comments weren’t actually edited), Taylor once again argued that religious non-believers are “broken” people.

In the forum, she said in part:

To me, it’s broken people. People not being in a relationship with their Creator, and therefore, not being in good relationship with their families and their communities, and not being productive members of society. I think that’s the ultimate answer. That’s not something that I work on from my position as Mayor of the community…

In his victory speech, Nirenberg appeared to acknowledge the scandal that ultimately cost Taylor her mayorship. “Tonight, the voters got it right on a lot of things,” he said. “Tonight, the voters rejected the politics of division and false choices, and they said yes to a bigger and brighter vision of inclusion, of diversity, of respecting each other, of fairness, of respecting each and every person in San Antonio, no matter if you live on the North Side, the South Side, the East Side, the West Side or any place in between. Tonight, the voters said yes to a mayor for all of San Antonio.”

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Tim Peacock is the Managing Editor and founder of Peacock Panache and has worked as a civil rights advocate for over twenty years. During that time he’s worn several hats including leading on campus LGBT advocacy in the University of Missouri campus system, interning with the Colorado Civil Rights Division, and volunteering at advocacy organizations. You can learn more about him at his personal website.

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