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Out Oakland Councilwoman Runs for Mayor

Out Oakland Councilwoman Runs for Mayor


Out Oakland city councilwoman Rebecca Kaplan announced her campaign for mayor Wednesday. If she wins, Oakland would become the third-largest U.S. city with an openly gay mayor, behind Houston and Portland, Ore.

According to The Bay Citizen, Kaplan, who announced her candidacy at a gallery in downtown Oakland, is likely to benefit from significant LGBT support in an election that demands candidates win a citywide majority. The gay community provides the largest voting base in Oakland outside of the African-American community. Neither of Kaplan's opponents, city council member Jean Quan and former state senate president pro tempore Don Perata, are gay or African-American.

However, The Bay Citizen reports that, "the LGBT-friendly Bay Area has never elected an out-gay mayor. Just one other openly gay politician -- former City Council member Danny Wan -- has been elected to citywide office in Oakland. Endorsements from the African-American and labor communities have thus far been split among the three candidates, producing no clear front-runner."

Kaplan, who is 39, enjoys the advantage of having been elected to citywide office twice with comfortable margins, according to the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund. A former AC Transit Board member, she won the council's at-large seat in 2008.

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