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Alabama gets
first openly gay state representative

Alabama gets
first openly gay state representative


Patricia Todd won the Democratic primary for a seat in Alabama's statehouse on Tuesday and, with no Republican opponent in November, becomes the state's first openly gay representative.

Patricia Todd made history on Tuesday by becoming what the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund described as the first openly gay state representative in Alabama history. Voter's in Alabama's 54th legislative district voted to send the Democrat to the statehouse.

The Victory Fund endorsed Todd and helped raise tens of thousands of dollars for her campaign. Todd has no Republican opponent in the general election in November.

"The road to equality in Alabama is a mile shorter today," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Victory Fund. "Gays and lesbians in Alabama will now have what all Americans deserve--a voice and a vote. Alabama knows well what a single voice can accomplish. We applaud Patricia's courage in stepping up to be heard."

"From big cities to small towns, from blue states to red states--equality is winning," said Human Rights Campaign president Joe Solmonese. "We were proud to join the efforts of Equality Alabama and the Victory Fund in helping fair-minded voters get out to the ballot box. Representative Todd was supported by an intense ground effort that involved a broad group of supporters."

In other elections Tuesday, Victory-endorsed candidate Rep. Karla Drenner won her Democratic primary to advance to the general election in November. Drenner is Georgia's only openly gay state legislator. Allen Thornell, a Victory endorsee who is seeking election to the Georgia house, advanced to a runoff in his Democratic primary election. "Karla's voice in the Georgia legislature is vitally important. We're working hard both to make sure she stays there and to help elect Allen Thornell to join her," Wolfe said. Thornell would be the first openly gay man in the Georgia legislature. (The Advocate)

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