Tampa Mayor-Elect Jane Castor, equality organizations celebrate historic win

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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TAMPA | Tampa’s former chief of police Jane Castor made history April 23 when she was elected the city’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.

Mayor-Elect Castor faced retired banker and philanthropist David Straz in the city’s runoff election. According to unofficial returns from the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections, 23.19% of Tampa’s 230,193 registered voters cast 53,385 ballots April 23. Of the 53,144 votes cast for mayor, Castor received 38,854, or 73.11% of the vote. Straz received 14,290, or 26.89%.

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Lightfoot becomes first out lesbian, black woman elected Chicago mayor

By : Chris Johnson of the Washington Blade, Courtesy the National LGBT Media Association
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ABOVE: Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot (Photo courtesy of the Lightfoot Campaign)

The run-off election in Chicago April 2 resulted in a historic victory for Lori Lightfoot, who became the first openly lesbian and black woman elected mayor of the city.

The Associated Press called the race for Lightfoot, who was running against Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, at 8 p.m. local time.

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National Out to Win Day aims to increase LGBTQ representation

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Washington D.C. | The LGBTQ Victory Institute and 18 equality-focused partner organizations are participating in the first National Out to Win Day April 2, aiming to raise awareness about the underrepresentation of LGBTQ people holding elected office.

LGBTQ Victory Institute works to increase the number of LGBTQ people in public office and to provide programming, service, and other support to ensure their success. They advise that currently, LGBTQ people hold just 0.1 percent of elected positions in the U.S. despite being 4.5 percent of the population.

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Jane Castor poised to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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As Tampa highlights its diversity with the fifth annual Tampa Pride March 30, Jane Castor—the celebration’s two-time grand marshal and arguably one of the city’s most stalwart servants—will continue her journey to become Tampa’s first openly LGBTQ mayor.

Castor, who will face retired banker and philanthropist David Straz in Tampa’s runoff election April 23, is familiar with firsts. Ahead of her 31 years of service with the Tampa Police Department, which she began as a beat cop patrolling the city in 1983, she was elected the first female president of a Tampa Police Academy class.

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Gay mayor, veteran Pete Buttigieg signals entry into 2020 fray

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Pete Buttigieg, a combat veteran and mayor of South Bend, Ind., has signaled he plans to throw his name into the pool of 2020 presidential candidates, raising the possibility of a Millennial and an openly gay candidate joining the growing Democratic field.

Buttigieg announced in a video Jan. 23 he’s forming an exploratory committee for a 2020 bid, which is considered the first step in running for president.

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Kansas sees LGBT milestones, yet big change may come slowly

By : wire report
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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) | Kansas will swear in its first two openly LGBT state lawmakers next month and the new Democratic governor promises to end a ban on discrimination over sexual orientation or gender identity in state hiring and employment decisions once she takes office.

Yet other goals for LGBT-rights activists, such as expanding the state’s anti-discrimination law covering landlords and private employers, might not be much closer to fruition — despite a historic national wave of victories by LGBT candidates and Gov.-elect Laura Kelly’s promise to break with Republican predecessors on policy.

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LGBTQ candidates usher in historical Rainbow Wave

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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Over 150 openly LGBTQ political candidates won their races nationwide in the 2018 U.S. midterm election, a historic Rainbow Wave.

154 candidates declared victory in a wide array of races. Each of the candidates was endorsed by the LGBTQ Victory Fund, the national group which exclusively endorses openly LGBTQ candidates.

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Lesbian marriage equality lawyer elected Mich. attorney general

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lesbian lawyer who was a lead attorney in the lawsuit challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage — one of several cases that led the U.S. Supreme Court to rule for marriage equality nationwide — has won election to become the next attorney general of the Wolverine State.

In an extremely close race that wasn’t called by media outlets until Nov. 7, Nessel, a Democrat and former prosecutor, won with 48.5 percent of the vote compared to the 46.8 percent claimed by her Republican opponent, Speaker of Michigan House Tom Leonard.

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Lesbian Angie Craig unseats anti-LGBT House lawmaker in Minnesota

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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A lesbian candidate running for a U.S. House seat in Minnesota has unseated an anti-LGBT lawmaker from the U.S. House, making her poised to become the first openly gay mother in Congress.

At a around 8:15 local time on Nov 6, major media outlets declared Angie Craig, a business executive who’s also mother, the winner in her bid to unseat Rep. Jason Lewis (R-Minn.) and represent Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district.

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Tammy Baldwin wins re-election to U.S. Senate

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) won re-election Nov. 6 to her seat representing Wisconsin in the U.S. Senate, becoming the first out lesbian and openly LGBT person to win re-election to the upper chamber of Congress.

CBS News declared Baldwin, a Democrat, the winner over her Republican opponent, State Sen. Leah Vukmir, shortly after polls closed in Wisconsin at 8 pm local time. 

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Jared Polis becomes first out gay person to win election as governor

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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The LGBT community achieved a major first on Nov. 6 when Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.) became the first openly gay person to win election as governor in the United States.

NBC News declared Polis, a Democrat and five-term member of Congress, the winner over his Republican opponent in the Colorado gubernatorial race, State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, shortly after polls closed in Colorado at 7 pm local time.

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Trump’s lesbian pick for judiciary enjoys bipartisan support, breezy hearing

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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In contrast to other judicial nominees of President Trump with anti-LGBT records, Mary Rowland — an out lesbian — enjoyed bipartisan support Wednesday during a breezy confirmation hearing.

Trump nominated Rowland, who has served a federal magistrate judge in Illinois since 2012, in June for a seat as a district judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, making her the only openly LGBT pick out of about 140 of his judicial nominations.

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