Parker inaugurated as mayor

Annise Parker has taken over as Houston’s mayor, making her city the nation’s largest to be presided over by an openly gay person.

The 53-year-old Parker was sworn in during a private ceremony as chief executive of America’s fourth-biggest city. She repeated the oath of office Jan. 4 as part of public inaugural ceremonies and celebrations.

Parker received almost 54 percent of the vote in a December runoff, defeating former city attorney Gene Locke in a race to succeed term-limited Bill White. Democrat White is now running for Texas governor.

Parker, a three-term former city controller, has never made a secret or issue of her sexual orientation in her runs for office.

Her sexual orientation drew attention after anti-gay activists and some religious groups endorsed Locke and sent out mailers condemning her.

— AP