Annise Parker, a lesbian woman, has emerged as the frontrunner in Houston’s mayoral race.

Houston, in Texas, is the fourth largest city in America and would be the largest to have an openly gay or lesbian mayor if Parker is successful.

She is currently city controller and will go head to head with former city attorney Gene Locke.

Locke hopes to become the second African-American to run the city.

Parker received 30 per cent of the vote yesterday, compared with Locke’s 25 per cent. However, the mayor must be elected with at least 50 per cent of the vote, hence the need for a run-off.

According to UPI, Parker is the most recognised of the mayoral candidates. She does not have the funding of Locke or city council president Peter Brown, who collected 23 per cent of the vote.