IOWA- In a race of major interest to the LGBT community, Liz Mathis, a former TV news anchor and the Democratic candidate won the special election on Tuesday to take the seat in the Iowa State Senate — a victory that will keep marriage equality safe in the State. Mathis will represent Iowa’s 18th District in the State Senate, beating out Republican Cindy Golding, a businessperson.
According to a tweet from the Iowa Independent, Mathis claimed the seat by taking 55.8 percent of the vote compared to 43.5 percent of the vote won by Golding. Democrats held a narrow 25-24 majority in the State Senate. A Republican win would have resulted in a tie in the leadership vote and thrown control of the chamber into question.
The race was imperative as this victory has prevented an anti-gay constitutional amendment, certainly for as long as Senate Majority Mike Gronstal (D) is in control of the chamber. Had he been pushed out of holding his majority power, the Senate could have voted on a measure that the Republican-controlled House approved in February banning both same-sex marriage and marriage-like unions. (Source Washington Blade)
VIRGINIA – State Del. Adam Ebbin (D-District 30), endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, was elected to Virginia’s state Senate , making him the Commonwealth’s first openly gay senator. Ebbin was elected to the House of Delegates in 2003. “We’re thrilled for Adam and for LGBT Virginians, who will finally have an authentic LGBT voice in the state senate,” said Chuck Wolfe, Victory Fund’s president. “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.” (Source - www.washingtonblade.com/2011/11/08/va-elects-first-openly-gay-state-senator/)
MONTANA – Caitlin Copple, an out lesbian who was endorsed by the Victory Fund, has won her race for the Missoula, Montana, city council, defeating an incumbent who voted against an LGBT non-discrimination ordinance. Copple grew up in Nampa, Idaho and moved to Missoula in 2004 to attend graduate school at the University of Montana’s School of Journalism. After earning her degree in 2007, Caitlin became involved in many non-profit organizations in the Missoula community as both a staff member and volunteer. She has previously worked for YWCA Missoula, served as interim Director of the Montana Innocence Project and has volunteered for NCBI Missoula, the GUTS Program, Forward Montana and Montana Women Vote. Caitlin works as part of the Pride Foundation.
OHIO- Joining tonight’s groundbreaking victories for LGBT candidates across America, 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. Seelbach, a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate who was on the group’s “10 Races to Watch” list this year, is a longtime community leader who led a campaign to repeal a Cincinnati anti-gay ordinance. www.gaypolitics.com/2011/11/08/cincinnati-elects-first-openly-gay-city-councilmember/
MASSACHUSETTS - Ousting longtime incumbent a 22-year-old graduate of Brown University, Alex Morse, was elected mayor of Holyoke, Mass., a city of nearly 40,000 residents near Springfield. Morse, also a Victory Fund-endorsed candidate, was on the group’s “10 Races to Watch” list this year. “Alex is a force of nature, and proof that young LGBT Americans are determined to live authentic lives as they build their careers. We’re incredibly proud of the campaign he ran,” said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund. Source: www.gaypolitics.com/2011/11/08/nations-youngest-gay-mayor-elected/
TEXAS – 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.
By Melanie Nathan