Primary Win Puts Gay Candidate on Track for Congress

By Julie Bolcer

Originally published on Advocate.com August 15 2012 10:32 AM ET

 

Wisconsin state Rep. Mark Pocan won his Democratic primary Tuesday, making him the heavy favorite to succeed Tammy Baldwin as the next openly gay congressperson to represent the liberal Madison district in November.

The Isthmus Daily Page reports that Pocan, a member of the State Assembly since 1998, trounced his three opponents. Unofficial results listed him with 77% of the vote.

A small business owner, Pocan married his partner Philip Frank in Canada in 2006. He currently represents the state legislative district once represented by Baldwin, who will face former Governor Tommy Thompson in the Senate race.

Pocan’s mention of Baldwin at his election night party “received the loudest cheers in the room,” according to the Daily Page. The seven-term incumbent Democratic could become the first openly gay person elected to the Senate.

The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed Pocan. President and CEO Chuck Wolfe commented on his win.

“Mark Pocan is an outstanding public servant who will be a strong and authentic voice for LGBT Americans in Congress,” he said.  “It’s fitting that as Congresswoman Baldwin fights to win a historic victory in the Senate, Mark Pocan will follow in her footsteps as one of the most powerful voices for LGBT equality in America.”