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Out Oakland Councilwoman Runs for Mayor

Out Oakland Councilwoman Runs for Mayor

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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.

Advocate Magazine - KehlaniAdvocate Magazine - Gus Kenworthy

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