With no opponent
to face in the general election in November, an openly
gay candidate is poised to become a member of the Oklahoma
legislature for the first time in state history.
Democrat Al McAffrey, a grandfather of four, won his
primary race for a state house seat Tuesday in
Oklahoma City and will not have to square off against a
Republican, the Associated Press reports.
"I ran as a Democratic candidate in District 88,
and I happen to be gay," McAffrey, a local funeral
director and Navy veteran, told the AP. "Health care,
senior care, education, those are the things that
really matter to the people. The people in Oklahoma want the
government out of their social lives, and let's take
care of things that matter to Oklahomans."
He added that he doesn't expect any difficulties
working with conservative house members. "Yes, we're a
conservative state and we have conservative issues,
but as a father and a grandfather, I have some
conservative issues as well," said McAffrey. "I've talked to
several Democratic members, and I believe I can have a
working relationship with every one of them. I believe
they are very open about working with me."
McAffrey was supported by the Gay and Lesbian
Victory Fund, which recently saw another candidate
it's supporting, Patricia Todd in Alabama, become the
first openly gay official elected to any office in the state
when she won her primary race earlier this month for a state
house seat. She will also run unopposed in the fall.
"Al's win is more proof that what fair-minded
Americans care about most are issues that directly
affect their lives," Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of
the Victory Fund, told the AP. "2006 is shaping up to
be a breakthrough year for the Victory Fund." (The