A West Texas mayor has quit his job to pursue a personal relationship with his gay lover, the San Angelo Standard Times reports.

J.W. Lown suddenly resigned Tuesday, the day he was to take the oath of office for his fourth term as mayor of San Angelo, pop. 88,000. Instead, City Manager Harold Dominguez announced his resignation.

Lown had fled to Mexico, where he was sorting out a personal relationship with a man who had attended Angelo State University. The man was in the United States illegally and Lown said he did not want to take the oath of office knowing he was “aiding and assisting” an illegal.

“I did the best I could,” Lown said from an undisclosed location in Mexico. “I had to get down here and get everything in order to make a life for myself.”

“I didn't make this decision lightly,” he said. “I have to give this a chance.”

He said the pair would remain in Mexico until his partner has secured a visa to return legally to the United States.

The mayor won his fourth term in a landslide victory.

Bloggers quickly summed up the novelty of the situation. “Boy, there's a TV movie here for someone: Popular, young attractive mayor of a prairie town, torn by love, decides to go back to Mexico to help his partner get legal,” writes Richard Connelly at the Houston Press blog. “He has to give up a job he also loves … and he has to come out.”

Lown offered Times readers his email, he can be reached at jwlown@gmail.com.