Election Day 2011: Historic night For LGBTQIA Candidates

By all accounts it was a great year to be an openly out candidate. The Victory Fund has been following the 75 candidates they endorsed this year.  Here’s a look at some of the major races as of 11:00 pm…

Idaho native Caitlin Copple, an out lesbian has won her race for the Missoula, Montana, city council, defeating an incumbent who voted against an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

Houston voters have returned Mayor Annise Parker to office without a runoff election, giving her nearly 51% of the vote in a general election tonight that featured five opponents.  Parker, an out lesbian, was first elected in 2009 and will be able to run for one more 2-year term in 2013.

Voters in the new city council District J chose Mike Laster to represent them.  Laster becomes the first openly gay man elected to the Houston City Council.

Chris Seelbach has won his race for the Cincinnati, Ohio City Council.  He becomes the first openly LGBT council member in the city’s history.

LaWana Mayfield  won her race for Charlotte, N.C., City Council, becoming that city’s first openly LGBT elected official.  She was heavily favored after ousting the incumbent Democrat in the primary earlier this year.

Also in North Carolina, Qnotes reports that, “openly gay Chapel Hill North Carolina Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt won his reelection bid with 78 percent of the vote, beating challengers Tim Sookram and Kevin Wolff.

Openly gay 22-year-old and recent University of North Carolina grad Lee Storrow won his race for a seat on the Chapel Hill Town Council. He garnered 15.78 percent of the vote, coming in third in a four-way race. Storrow is the youngest member to serve on the council in 20 years.”

Bruce Harris was elected mayor of Chatham Borough, N.J.  He’s likely the nation’s first openly gay, African American, Republican mayor.

Mary Doran has been elected to the School Board in St. Paul, Minn.

Pedro Segarra easily retains his post as mayor of Hartford, Conn.  His main opponents dropped out of the race earlier this year.

Mayor Tim Eustace of Maywood, N.J., has been elected to the New Jersey Assembly tonight, becoming the first openly gay non-incumbent to win a seat in the legislature.

Eustace will join Assemblymember Reed Gusciora, who won his reelection bid, as New Jersey’s only openly gay state lawmakers.

State Del. Adam Ebbin (D-District 30) was elected to Virginia’s state Senate, making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator.

Alex Morse, a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, has been elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield. Besides being openly gay, his win makes him the youngest city mayor in the country.

Zach Adamson has won his race for city council in Indianapolis, giving the city its first openly LGBT city council member.

An incumbent on the Largo, Fla., City Commission who attacked her openly gay opponent over his sexual orientation has lost her reelection bid to him. Michael Smith defeated Mary Gray Black, who has a history of anti-gay and anti-trans activism on the commission.

The National Gay And Lesbian Task Force reports that it was a good night for some key LGBTQIA issues as well.

“Residents of Traverse City, Mich., voted to retain the city’s nondiscrimination ordinance, which includes explicit protections for LGBT people. According to local media reports, the city voted to keep the ordinance by a nearly 2-to-1 margin.

In one of the country’s most highly watched contests this election, voters in Mississippi have rejected Initiative 26, which sought to amend the state Constitution to establish legal “personhood” at the moment of fertilization. If it had passed, Initiative 26 would have become the nation’s most restrictive law against abortion and birth control.”

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