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Mixed Primary Night for Gay Pols

Mixed Primary Night for Gay Pols

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On Tuesday, LGBT candidates from Arizona to Vermont vied to appear on the ballot in November, some ending victoriously, and others heading back to the drawing board.

Jack Jackson Jr., a former Arizona state representative who once ran for the U.S. House of Representatives, essentially won election to the state senate Tuesday night, as he won the Democratic nomination and has no opponent in the general election. According to Denis Dison at the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, with Jackson, there will be at least five openly LGBT people in the Arizona state legislature when the new session convenes. Jackson, a member of the Navajo Nation, spent the evening celebrating with his colleague Tom Chabin, who won his state house race Tuesday.

In Vermont, Democrat Steve Howard won the party's nomination for lieutenant governor with 53% of the vote against Christopher Bray, according to the Burlington Free Press. He will face Republican nominee Phil Scott, who won with 56% of the vote against Mark Snelling. Howard has been elected to the state house of representatives six times and has served one term as the chairman of the Vermont Democratic Party. While Bray garnered support from several labor groups and five newspapers' editorial boards, Howard collected three times as much in contributions as Bray and doubled his opponent's spending.

The races did not go as well for LGBT candidates in Florida.

Transgender Republican candidate Donna Milo came in third with 22% of the vote for in the race in Florida's 20th congressional district, a high percentage since the third-place candidate in that race tends to land in the 10%-18% range, according to The Atlantic.

Milo is a social conservative who has said marriage should be a religious sacrament restricted to heterosexual couples and that "traditional families" should have priority for adopting children over gay couples.

State house incumbent Gwyn Clarke-Reed narrowly edged out Wilton Manors city commissioner Justin Flippen to win the Democratic nomination to keep her seat. The contest caused concern that the Democratic base would split, as Flippen is gay and Clarke-Reed is black, each therefore representing one of the party's stronger constituencies, reports The Miami Herald.

And Scott Galvin, a North Miami city council member, was unable to break through to the top in a nine-candidate race for the Democratic nomination in Florida's 17th congressional district. State senator Frederica Wilson won with 35% of the vote. Galvin came in eighth with 6% of the vote, according to the Washington Blade.

September 14 is the next big date for primaries, including gay Providence, R.I., mayor David Cicilline's race for a congressional nomination.

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