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The Atlanta election results

Timothy Kincaid

December 2nd, 2009

Yesterday I posted a commentary in which I speculated that if the mayoral election came down to the gay vote (as some news sources were suggesting) that this would favor Mary Norwood.

Well, the results are in (kinda) and either the gay community was not the determining factor or my speculations were off base. The vote was much larger than expected and while the gay community turned out in large percentages to support gay candidates, overall increased turnout diluted the gay vote. As it stands, Sen. Kasim Reed is ahead by 758 votes, though provisional ballots are still untallied and a recount is expected.

The good news is that whoever is finally determined to be the victor, both candidates courted the gay vote and seem to recognize the importance of rights and recognition for gay couples and individuals. As the city and the police department are facing a lawsuit from the patrons at the Atlanta Eagle, it is hoped that a closer relationship between the community and the city can help heal rifts and facilitate a smoother resolution to the situation.

Additional good news is that Atlanta voters elected two gay representatives, Alex Wan to the Atlanta City Council and Simone Bell to the Georgia House of Representatives.

With their wins, Simone Bell becomes first black lesbian elected to a state Legislature in the United States. Alex Wan becomes first gay man and Asian American man elected to Atlanta City Council.

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