Gay Candidates and Recent Veterans Scored Big on Election Night

Friday, November 05, 2010
David Cicilline
Lost amid the post-election news about Tea Party victories and Republicans taking back the U.S. House of Representatives was the fact that November 2010 also was good to homosexuals and veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who ran for public office.
For the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community (LGBT), the recent election produced more victories than any other election in U.S. history. According to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, at least 106 LGBT candidates across the country won races this week.
The success stories included Providence, Rhode Island, Mayor David Cicilline’s election to the U.S. House of Representatives, becoming the fourth openly gay representative in Congress.
In Ohio and North Carolina, Nickie Antonio and Marcus Brandon, respectively, became the first openly LGBT individuals to earn election to their state legislatures.
In winning a Superior Court judgeship in Alameda County, California, Victoria Kolakowski becomes the first openly transgender judge in America.
Veterans of recent wars also did well on November 2, as long as they were running as Republicans. At least eight GOP veteran candidates won House seats, along with Illinois Republican Mark Kirk, who served for four weeks in Afghanistan before winning the Senate seat formerly held by President Barack Obama. During the campaign, Kirk was forced to apologize for various false statements he made regarding his military service, including claiming he had served in both wars in Iraq (he was stationed in Maryland) and that he was the Navy’s “Intelligence Officer of the Year” (he once accepted an award on behalf of his unit).
Democratic veterans have a more difficult time in the 2010 election, most notably two incumbent congressmen: Pennsylvania Representative Patrick Murphy, who was the first Iraq war veteran elected to Congress after serving in the U.S. Army; and Ohio Representative John Boccieri, who was an Air Force reservist.
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Nine Afghan, Iraq War Vets Head to Congress (by Leo Shane III, Stars and Stripes)
Election Scorecard (Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund)


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