Tom Daley
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Kentucky Picks Gay Mayor to Run Against Rand Paul for U.S. Senate

Jim Gray and Rand Paul

The nation has a chance to elect its second out U.S. senator, thanks to Kentucky voters. 

Today they overwhelmingly picked Jim Gray, the mayor of Lexington and a gay man, to run against Republican incumbent Sen. Rand Paul. Gray beat six challengers by a wide margin. 

Sen. Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, also a Democrat, is the first and only out senator, having moved over from the House with her win in 2013. But Gray becomes the first out man to run for U.S. Senate anywhere in the nation.

Plus, if he won, he’d be the first out person to win a statewide election of any kind in Kentucky — which is also home to Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who gained notoriety by refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Gray celebrated his primary victory at a rally at Manchester Music Hall in Lexington, complete with barbecue. The two-term mayor with his “Kentucky First” slogan has repeatedly chided Paul for national aspirations, telling supporters, “Now you have got my word. I am never running for president.”

Gray has touted his business record as the former CEO of his family’s successful construction company. “I’m a businessman, not a politician,” Gray said in his latest campaign ad. “I don’t believe every Democratic idea is a good idea or that every Republican idea is a bad one. I’ll take good ideas from both sides and put Kentucky first.”

Watch the ad below:

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