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First openly gay
candidate elected to Oklahoma legislature

First openly gay
candidate elected to Oklahoma legislature

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 Advocate)

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