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Virginia elects first gay senator, LGBT candidates win numerous races

Virginia elected its first openly gay senator, Democrat Adam Ebbin (pictured), yesterday in a district that encompasses a swath of suburban Washington, D.C., including Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax counties.

“We’re thrilled for Adam and for LGBT Virginians, who will finally have an authentic LGBT voice in the state senate,” Victory Fund President and CEO Chuck Wolfe said in a press release. “The Victory Fund has been proud to support Adam throughout his career. He’s been a persistent champion for fairness and equality, and we congratulate him.”

The victory was an anomaly, however, in an election that appeared to effectively give control of Virginia’s senate to anti-gay Republicans. And Patrick Forrest, an out gay Republican who also was endorsed by the Victory Fund, lost his race.

In other news from yesterday’s election, Houston’s openly lesbian mayor Annise Parker narrowly won reelection to a second term. Parker was the first out candidate to be elected mayor of a major U.S. city.

“I had five opponents. Plus, I had the economy, and that was a tough opponent,” Parker said in her victory speech.

Openly gay Alex Morse was elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., making the Brown University graduate the youngest mayor in the nation at age 22. The city of 40,000 is located in the western part of the state, about eight miles north of Springfield.

LaWana Mayfield became the first openly LGBT person elected to Charlotte, N.C., City Council yesterday. She was heavily favored after ousting the incumbent Democrat in a primary race earlier this year.

Openly gay attorney Daryl Justin Finizio was elected mayor of London, Conn.

Caitlin Copple, an out lesbian who was endorsed by the Victory Fund, won her race for the Missoula, Mont., city council, defeating an incumbent who voted against an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance.

Mayor Tim Eustace of Maywood, N.J., was elected to the New Jersey Assembly, becoming the first openly gay non-incumbent to win a seat in that state’s legislature.

In Cincinnati, Chris Seelbach won his race for city council, becoming the first openly LGBT council member in the city’s history.

For comprehensive LGBT election news from around the nation, check out WiG’s Nov. 17 coverage.

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