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Gay Man Advances in Gainesville Fla Mayoral Race

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A gay man, city commissioner Craig Lowe, has emerged as the front-runner in Gainesville, Fla.'s mayoral race after winning the most votes in Tuesday's election and advancing to a runoff.

Lowe has served as city commissioner for the past seven years in Gainesville, a city of approximately 115,000 residents and home to the University of Florida, one of the largest public universities in the nation. Lowe will now face off against conservative businessman Don Marsh on April 13.

In Tuesday's election Lowe received about 40% of the vote, with Marsh receiving approximately 29%. Lowe raised $31,876 and spent $26,453.71 on the campaign, about four times as much as Marsh.

Lowe was instrumental in helping Gainesville pass an ordinance that allowed transgender people to use the public restroom they feel comfortable in. A conservative effort to overturn the ordinance at the ballot box -- using commercials and posters that insinuated men would follow young girls into women's rooms -- failed.

More recently, transphobic posters emerged around Gainesville that took aim at Lowe for supporting the ordinance. Lowe was also the target of antigay animus when fliers were tucked under windshields of cars parked at a Baptist church that carried sarcastic messages including "Support the Gay Agenda," "Help Craig Become the 1st Gay Mayor of Gainesville," and "Please Help to Make This Town More Like San Francisco."

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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