Landmark victories included that of Marcus Brandon — who, as state representative, will be North Carolina's first openly gay elected official — and Jim Gray, who beat an incumbent to become mayor of Lexington, Kentucky. Laurie Jinkins, elected to the Washington State House, is the stat's firs lesbian lawmaker. In Connecticut, Ken Lembo became the only openly gay candidates to win a statewide race when he was elected state comptroller. And, having been elected judge on the Superior Court of Alameda County, California, Victoria Kolakowski becomes the nation's first transgender trial court judge.
The election was significant in other ways: Although gay marriage amendments passe din 7 states, Arizona became the first state to defeat an anti-gay-marriage state constitutional amendment ballot initiative. Said Joe Solmonese, president of the Human Rights Campaign, according to the Dallas Voice, "We came into this election cycle knowing that these would be tough, uphill battles in all eight states. Defeating the amendment in Arizona was a huge victory, and even though the other seven amendments passed, they passed by smaller margins than in the past."
In sum, says Chuck Wolfe, president of The Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, "This is the tipping point election for openly-gay candidates...We're proving that qualified, well-prepared candidates matched with committed donors means gays and lesbians can move from having a stake in policy to actually making policy. There's no reason to sit on the sidelines with our fingers crossed anymore."
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