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Fort Worth Elects
First Out Official

Fort Worth Elects
First Out Official

Fort Worth, Texas, has elected its first openly gay public official. Joel Burns won a runoff election Tuesday night to represent the ninth district on the city council.

Fort Worth, Texas, has elected its first openly gay public official. Joel Burns won a runoff election Tuesday night to represent the ninth district on the city council.

Burns, a real estate agent, won with 54% of the vote, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported. About 14% of registered voters participated in the runoff, a decrease from 18% in the November 6 election.

The ninth district includes downtown Fort Worth and Texas Christian University.

The Star-Telegram's endorsement of Burns called him the candidate "who is the most knowledgeable about city issues and takes the widest positions."

Both he and his opponent, Juan Rangel, had strong Democratic support, having bested four other candidates in the November election to advance to Tuesday's runoff.

Burns was appointed to the city zoning commission this year by his predecessor, Wendy Davis, who is stepping down to run for the state senate in 2008. Burns is expected to be sworn in on January 8 after the city council votes for a new city manager.

Burns received fiscal support from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. The organization's president and CEO, Chuck Wolfe, called Burns's win a "sweet victory."

"It was enormously important to have the endorsement of the Victory Fund," Burns said in a statement. "They understand what it takes to win, and then they help you do that." (The Advocate)

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