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Gay Candidates Make Gains in NYC


Openly gay candidates made gains in local New York City primary elections on Tuesday, as Daniel Drumm (pictured) and James Van Bramer, both from Queens, each won his district's Democratic nomination for city council. As winning the primary is tantamount to capturing the seat in the heavily Democratic districts, Drumm and Van Bramer appear poised to become the first openly gay elected officials to represent a borough outside Manhattan.

Out lesbian Lynn Schulman, also from Queens, narrowly lost her city council bid. All three candidates received support from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

The gains arrived on a primary day marked by low turnout but demonstrative voter dissatisfaction with council members' approval last October of Mayor Bloomberg's proposal to extend term limits and allow officeholders to run for a third consecutive term. Three council members who supported the proposal, none of them openly gay, were ousted from office on Tuesday.

In a high-profile race in District 3, which covers the gay neighborhoods of the West Village, Chelsea, and Hell's Kitchen, Speaker Christine Quinn, the powerful out lesbian incumbent, fended off a robust challenge by lesbian civil rights attorney Yetta Kurland. Quinn took 52% of the vote, compared to Kurland's 31%. Quinn was a vocal proponent of the term limits extension proposal.

Out lesbian city council member Rosie Mendez handily won her Manhattan district.

Cyrus Vance Jr. won the hotly contested Democratic nomination for Manhattan district attorney, all but assuring his election in November, with no Republican opponent.

In citywide races, Comptroller William Thompson Jr. easily captured the Democratic nomination for mayor, and will face the well-financed Bloomberg in November. Council members John Liu and David Yassky will compete in a runoff election later this month for the comptroller's nomination. Likewise, in the contest for public advocate, council member Bill de Blasio will face a runoff election against public interest lawyer Mark Green, who previously held the job.

Full primary election results are available at

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Julie Bolcer