David Cicilline will become the fourth openly gay member of the House of Representatives, joining Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank, and Jared Polis in the 112th congressional session.
The 49-year-old mayor of Providence, R.I., survived a last-minute attack on his sexual orientation in the form of a flier reading, “Alert!!! Before you vote for U.S. Congress, you should know that ... John Loughlin is a husband and father and believes in traditional family values. ... Cicilline is an openly gay man who supports same sex marriage."
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, welcomed the news.
“Mayor Cicilline will be a strong advocate for all Rhode Islanders, but he will also be an authentic voice for the millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans who long for the day when we will be treated equally under law,” said Wolfe. “We are enormously proud of him and grateful to Rhode Island voters.”
Cicilline won the Democratic nomination in September after collecting 37% of the vote to edge out two opponents. At the time, political observers assumed that winning the Democratic primary in a true blue state like Rhode Island would make his ascension to Congress a lock. But in recent weeks analysts began to worry that a red wave could potentially overtake even solid Democratic candidates.