Speaker Ryan becomes latest Republican to announce retirement

By : Chris Johnson OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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With Republicans fretting about losing control of Congress in the mid-term elections, U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has announced he won’t seek re-election, leaving an uneven record on LGBTQ rights and the door open for another Republican to take his place as leader of his caucus.

The 10-term member of Congress, who has served as speaker since 2015, announced during a news conference Wednesday he wouldn’t seek re-election to represent Wisconsin’s 1st congressional district in order to spend more time with his family, confirming news reports about his intended plan earlier in the day.

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Atlantic Beach commissioner airs anti-gay comments on Facebook

By : Staff Report
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ATLANTIC BEACH – Atlantic Beach Commissioner Jonathan Daugherty sent a hate-filled remark to a fellow council member advising her that he was unfriending her on Facebook because of her support of an LGBT organization..

The message was sent to Maria Mark’s private inbox and explained Daugherty’s distain for her strategy in passing the local Human Rights Ordinance. Mark announced her re-election bid on June 14 but has posted several updates on Facebook prior to that date showing Equality Florida’s support for her re-election.

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Nation’s largest gay rights group to feature VP Biden at convention

By : Wire Report
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Washington (AP) – Vice President Joe Biden will deliver a speech this week to the nation’s largest gay rights group.

The Human Rights Campaign says Biden will headline its annual convention on March 6 in Washington. The group advocates for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

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General Election 2012: Tampa Bay Results

By : Watermark
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Election night created gains for the LGBT community on both sides of the bay Nov. 6, coming at a crucial time in politics where counties are considering domestic partnership registries to benefit same-sex partners who are still unable to marry in the state.

In Hillsborough County, out Commissioner Kevin Beckner easily won a second term, defeating his Republican challenger Margaret Iuculano with more than 55% of the vote. Meanwhile, anti-LGBT Republican Ronda Storms lost her bid for the property appraiser position when Bob Henriquez secured 52% of the vote. Storms, a former state senator, is remembered most locally for her decision while a Hillsborough County Commissioner to “ban” Gay Pride in the county in 2005.

Mark Nash failed in his attempt to become Hillsborough County’s second out commissioner, falling to incumbent Republican Al Higginbotham by a margin of 58%-37%.

On the other side of the bay, Pinellas County saw gains on its county commission that could bode well for future domestic partnership plans in the county. Currently, the county’s major citiesâ┚¬â€St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Gulfportâ┚¬â€all offer domestic partner registries. The county has yet to embrace the idea of such a registry. But that could change with the election.

Two Pinellas County Commission incumbents lost their re-election bid while incumbent Ken Welch (D) held onto his District 7 seat with 70% of the vote. Charlie Justice doused Nancy Bostock after garnering 53% of the vote and Janet Long held back incumbent Republican Neil Brickfield after capturing 55% of the vote. According to exit polling, many voters said the decision of Bostock and Long to remove fluoride from the county’s drinking water earlier this year under pressure from Tea Party activists.

Here is a quick glimpse at some of the other Pinellas County- and Hillsborough County-specific elections:

PINELLAS COUNTY SHERIFF
Bob Gualtieri (R): 59%
Scott Swope (D): 40%

SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS:
Deborah Clark (R): 76%
Jack Killingsworth (D): 24%

PINELLAS COUNTY COMMISSION
DIST. 1
Janet Long (D): 55%
Neil Brickfield (R): 44%

DIST. 3
Charlie Justice (D): 52%
Nancy Bostock (R): 48%

DIST. 7
Ken Welch (D): 69%
Buck Walz (R): 31%

PINELLAS SCHOOL BOARD DIST. 1
Janet Clark: 65%
Elliott Stem: 34%

PINELLAS SCHOOL BOARD DIST. 7:
Rene Flowers: 77%
Glen Gilzean: 23%

U.S. SENATE:
Bill Nelson (D): 59%
Connie Mack (R): 37%

U.S. HOUSE DIST. 12:
Gus Bilirakis (R): 68%
Jonathan Snow (D): 30%

U.S. HOUSE DIST 13:
Bill Young (R): 58%
Jessica Ehrlich (D): 42%

U.S. HOUSE DIST. 14:
Kathy Castor (D): 85%
EJ Otero Jr. (R): 15%

STATE SENATE DIST. 20:
Jack Latvala (R): 58%
Ashley Rhodes-Courter (D): 42%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 65:
Carl Zimmerman (D): 53%
Peter Nehr (R): 47%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 66:
Larry Ahern (R): 53%
Mary Louise Ambrose (D): 47%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 67: D
Ed Hooper (R): 53%
Ben Farrell (D): 47%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 68:
Dwight Dudley (D): 50%
Frank Farkas (R): 44%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 69:
Kathleen Peters (R): 52%
Josh Shulman (D): 48%

CITY OF DUNEDIN MAYOR
Dave Eggers: 52%
Bob Hackworth: 48%

DUNEDIN COMMISSIONER SEAT 3
Heather Gracy: 58%
David Carson: 41%

LARGO CITY COMMISSION: SEAT 4
James Robinson: 59%
Robert Hunsicker: 41%

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY
PROPERTY APPRAISER:
Bob Henriquez (D): 52%
Ronda Storms (R): 43%

COUNTY COMMISSION DIST. 4
Al Higginbotham (R): 58%
Mark Nash (D): 37%

COUNTY COMMISSION DIST.  6
Kevin Beckner (D): 58%
Margaret Iuculano (R): 42%

SCHOOL BOARD DIST. 7:
Carol Kurdell: 57%
Terry Kemple: 43%

SUPERVISOR OF ELECTIONS:
Craig Latimer (D): 56%
Rich Glorioso (R): 44%

U.S. HOUSE DIST. 12:
Gus Bilirakis (R): 64%
Jonathan Snow (D): 33%

U.S. HOUSE DIST. 14:
Kathy Castor (D): 68%
EJ Otero Jr. (R): 32%

U.S. HOUSE DIST. 17:
Thomas Rooney (R): 57%
William Bronson (D): 43%

US HOUSE DIST. 24:
Tom Lee (R): 54%
Elizabeth Belcher (D): 46%

STATE SENATE DIST. 26:
Bill Galvano (R): 57%
Paula House (D): 42%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 57:
Jake Raburn (R): 59%
Bruce Barnett (D): 41%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 58:
Daniel Raulerson (R): 58%
Jose Vazquez (D): 43%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 59:
Gail Gottlieb (D): 51%
Ross Spano (R): 49%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 62:
Janet Cruz (D): 69%
Wesley Warren (R): 30%

STATE HOUSE DIST. 63:
Mark Danish (D): 51%
Shawn Harrison (R) 49%