You’d never know it from reading the RNC talking points at Politico or the Washington Post, but guess what: Houston, Texas — a historically-conservative city in a historically-conservative state — is on the verge of getting its first openly-gay mayor. What’s more is that she was by no means the only progressive or trailblazing major candidate in the race:

The unpredictable and unorthodox race for Houston mayor narrowed Tuesday to a choice between a veteran City Hall insider trying to become Houston’s first openly gay leader and a former civil rights activist hoping to become only the second African-American to run the nation’s fourth-largest city.

City Controller Annise Parker and former City Attorney Gene Locke, the two candidates originally predicted by many to prevail at the race’s outset, face each other in a Dec. 12 runoff.

The upshot: Houston will get to choose between two very good candidates five weeks from now.

Meanwhile, pro-gay-rights measures passed in both Kalamazoo, Michigan, and Washington state. So while Maine may have been a disappointment, it’s not the only thing that happened last night.