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Openly gay candidates win elections in record numbers

RAW STORY
Published: Wednesday November 8, 2006

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Openly gay candidates have won elections in record numbers, and the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund celebrated its "unprecedented success" in a press release obtained by RAW STORY.

"Sixty-seven Victory-endorsed candidates were elected to federal, state and local offices, with some winning historic races that make them the first openly gay or lesbian candidates ever elected in their states or legislative bodies," the political action committee declared.

Chuck Wolfe, CEO for the Victory Fund, called it "the tipping point election for openly gay candidates."

"We're proving that qualified, well-prepared candidates matched with committed donors means gays and lesbians can move from having a stake in policy to actually making policy," Wolfe said in the press release. "There's no reason to sit on the sidelines with our fingers crossed anymore."

Ten key victories noted in the press release:

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10 Key Victories in 2006:

-- Patricia Todd, who will represent District 54 in the Alabama State House. Todd is the first openly gay person ever elected to any office in the state.

-- Kathy Webb, who will represent District 37 in the Arkansas State House. Webb is the first openly gay person ever elected to any office in the state.

-- Henry Fernandez, who won a seat on the Lawrence Township School Board, making him the first openly gay person ever elected to any office in Indiana.

-- Al McAffrey, who will represent District 88 in the Oklahoma State House. McAffrey is the first openly gay person ever elected to the Oklahoma state legislature.

-- Jolie Justus, who will represent District 10 in the Missouri State Senate. Justus is the first openly gay state senator in Missouri history.

-- Ed Murray, who will represent District 43 in the Washington State Senate. Murray, a former state representative, is the first openly gay state senator in Washington history.

-- Matt McCoy, who becomes the first openly gay candidate ever elected to the Iowa legislature. McCoy, a sitting state senator, came out during his last term.

-- Ken Keechl, who won a seat on the Broward County Commission in Florida, beating an appointee of Gov. Jeb Bush.

-- Jamie Pedersen, who becomes the third consecutive openly gay person to be elected to represent District 43 in the Washington State House.

-- Judge Virginia Linder will join Rives Kistler on the Oregon Supreme Court, making it the first state ever to have two openly gay Supreme Court Justices, according to preliminary results.

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