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PORTSIDE  November 2010, Week 1

PORTSIDE November 2010, Week 1

Subject:

Openly Gay Candidates: Some Surprise Victories in 164 Races

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Openly Gay Candidates: Some Surprise Victories in 164 Races

Keen News Service
November 2, 2010
http://www.keennewsservice.com/2010/11/02/openly-gay-candidates/

The results for some high profile openly gay candidates
are often mixed, and they were Tuesday night-with nine
of eighteen openly LGBT candidates winning. But there
was one big surprise Tuesday night and one shining star
and, overall, the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund reported
that 106 of the 164 openly gay candidates running
Tuesday won their races.

The big surprise came in Lexington, Kentucky, where
openly gay construction company executive Jim Gray won
election as mayor. The Lexington Herald-Leader reported
the news shortly after the polls closed at 6 p.m. Gray
has been serving as the city's vice mayor and defeated
incumbent mayor Jim Newberry. The paper said the
campaign has been one of the most expensive in the
city's history and only the second time in history that
a sitting mayor has been defeated. The ballot in
Lexington does not indicate party affiliation.
According to results published by the Herald-Leader,
Gray won with 53 percent of the vote, to Mayor Jim
Newberry's 46 percent. The Herald-Leader noted that
Gray lost a bid for mayor in 2002, when his sexual
orientation was not public. Gray came out before
running successfully for an at-large seat on the Urban
County Council.

In another southern state, North Carolina, openly gay
candidate Marcus Brandon of High Point won his first-
time run for state representative and, in doing so,
becomes the state's first openly gay legislator in the
state. According to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund,
Brandon also becomes only the fifth openly gay African-
American to a state legislature anywhere in the
country. As of 10:30 Tuesday night, three hours after
polls closed, the state Board of Elections showed
Brandon with 70 percent of the vote, compared to
Republican Lonnie Wilson. The race was to represent
North Carolina's District 60, which encompasses
Guilford County in the middle of the state. Brandon
told the News-Record newspaper of Greensboro that his
sexual orientation was not a secret but that "This is
not something I wanted to take over my campaign."

"Nobody in a year-and-a-half ever asked me about my
sexuality," Brandon said, in an October 15 blog by an
editorial writer in which the paper noted his race was
one of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund's "Ten Races to
Watch" this year.

Laurie Jinkins has won her bid to the Washington State
House, and becomes its first openly lesbian state
lawmaker. Another lesbian, Nickie Antonio, won an
unopposed race for the Ohio state house, making her
that state's first openly gay state legislator.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank won re-election to a 16th term
as Massachusetts Congressman from the 4th District.
Frank won against an aggressive Republican challenger,
Sean Bielat, who had a surge of out-of-state funding in
the final days of the campaign to fuel a flood of
campaign literature and robo-calls. While Frank's re-
election was considered predictable, the margin of
victory represents a significant drop in support for
Frank. Frank garnered only 54 percent of the vote
Tuesday, dropping well below his previous lowest re-
election take of 68 percent in 2008. The returns almost
guarantee an even tougher re-match against Bielat in
2012.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) won re-election to a
seventh term with 62 percent of the vote, down just a
few points from her previous re-election margin. U.S.
Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) won a second term with 56
percent of the vote.

Providence, Rhode Island's openly gay mayor, David
Cicilline, won his bid to represent the 1st
Congressional District in the U.S. House. The win will
make him the fourth openly gay member of the Congress.
With all precincts counted, Cicilline had secured 50.6
percent of the vote, compared to Republican John
Loughlin's 44.5 percent, and 4.9 percent for two other
candidates.

In Connecticut, openly gay health care advocate Kevin
Lembo appears to have won his race for the state
comptroller's seat, taking 52 percent of the vote to
Republican Jack Orchulli's 44 percent. The win makes
Lembo the only openly gay candidates to win a statewide
race Tuesday night.

And Victoria Kolakowski appears to have won election as
a judge on the Superior Court of Alameda County,
California, becoming the first transgender trial court
judge in the country.

But there were losses, too.

Two openly gay candidates lost their bids for seats in
the U.S. House. Democrat Ed Potosnak, a teacher and
businessman, lost his bid to unseat Republican
incumbent Leonard Lance in New Jersey's 7th
Congressional district. Potosnak had been given very
little chance of winning in his first run, but still
pulled in 40 percent of the vote. And Steve Poughnet,
the openly gay mayor of Palm Springs, California,
garnered 40 percent in his first run for Congress
against incumbent Republican Mary Bono Mack.

Two openly gay candidates for lieutenant governor lost
as the head of their tickets fell to defeat.  Steve
Howard lost as the number two person on the Democratic
ticket in Vermont. And Richard Tisei lost as part of
the Republican ticket in Massachusetts, where incumbent
Democratic governor Deval Patrick won re-election with
49 percent of the race, against Republican Charlie
Baker's 42 percent, and Independent Tim Cahill's 8.

And openly gay Republican Ken Rosen appears to have
lost his bid to represent Michigan's 26th District in
the state house. At 11:23 Tuesday night, early results
showed Rosen with 44 percent of the vote, trailing
Democrat Jim Townsend who has 53 percent.

Copyright c2010 Keen News Service. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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