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Openly gay Stork to drop out of congressional race

Openly gay Stork to drop out of congressional race

Openly gay Democratic congressional nominee Jim Stork is expected to officially drop out of the Florida race against Republican U.S. representative Clay Shaw Jr., citing failing health. Stork, a former mayor of the predominantly gay city of Wilton Manors, Fla., who was recently profiled in an issue of The Advocate, suspended his campaign in mid August to undergo tests because of fatigue. According to a report in the congressional newspaper Roll Call, Stork will make the announcement on Thursday, at which point it will be up to Democratic leaders in the district to pick a ballot replacement. Democrats have reportedly reached out to Rep. Peter Deutsch, who lost a Senate primary last month and is retiring, and 34-year-old entrepreneur Jeremy Ring, but both have indicated they have no interest in running, according to Roll Call. That leaves state senator Ron Klein, who is apparently still interested. Stork had been able to tap a national fund-raising network and had given Democrats some hope that 2004 might be the year they finally ousted Shaw. After a close call in 2000, state lawmakers redrew Shaw's district to make it more Republican, and the antigay 12-term incumbent from Ft. Lauderdale was easily reelected in 2002 against a highly touted Democratic recruit, Carol Roberts.

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