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Two Gay Candidates Vie in Chicago

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A Democratic state house primary in Chicago this February will find an openly gay man and a lesbian candidate competing against each other, but neither one makes sexual orientation a selling point.

The primary in the northwest side's 40th district will be historic, according to local NBC news blogger Matt Bartosik.

"Columbia College instructor Joe Laiacona -- an openly gay man -- has collected enough signatures to get on the ballot to challenge incumbent State Rep. Deb Mell -- the first openly gay woman to serve in the Illinois General Assembly," Bartosik writes. "If both keep their hats in the ring, the race will be the first of its kind at this level of politics in Illinois."

However, Bartosik finds it unacceptable that neither candidate mentions sexual orientation in his or her online campaign bio.

And yet, despite this political milestone, there is little to no fanfare about it. In fact, neither of the candidates even mentions sexual orientation in his/her online campaign bio.

The contest appears to raise questions about the progress made by openly gay and lesbian political candidates.

In an interview with the Windy City Times, which Bartosik cited, Laiacona said, "As a matter of fact, I don't think my sexual orientation should be an issue."

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