The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund has helped land a record number of openly gay individuals in elective office during this off-year election cycle. The Fund endorsed 71 candidates of which 31 won their elections Nov. 6, while an additional 10 won their elections earlier this year. Three other candidates received enough votes to move into a runoff election.
“This is the path to change,” said the Fund’s CEO and President Chuck Wolfe in a press release. “We are not content to sit on the sidelines and hope that others will do the right thing for our community. We will step up and lead the fight for a more equal and fair America, and we will win.”
Mayor-elect of Ferndale Craig Covey was endorsed by the Victory Fund in this election cycle, and he won his seat, becoming the first openly gay mayor in Michigan history. Tom Zerafa, who ran for Mayor of Oak Park, was also endorsed but lost the election bid.
In addition to Covey’s win, Reed Gusicora won re-election to the New Jersey state assembly keeping him as the state’s first openly gay legislator. Maywood. New Jersey also elected a gay man, Tim Eustace, to be mayor and Brian Bates won a seat on the Doraville Georgia city council. Bates election makes him the first openly gay republican to win office in that state. Jeffrey Anderson was elected to Duluth City Council, making him the first openly gay elected official in northern Minnesota.
Joel Burns received the most votes and is on the ballot for a runoff election for the Fort Worth Texas City Council. His campaign was marred by anti-gay smears from an opponent. Openly transgender incumbent Michelle Bruce received enough votes to move into the runoff election for City Council of Riverdale, Georgia.
“2008 will be another record-breaking year for gay candidates, and they’ll need help to counter the inevitable attacks from anti-gay hate groups,” Wolfe said. “We’ll be ready to fight.”
For a complete list of Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund endorsees, visit them on the web at http://www.victoryfund.org.