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2010 Election Update

2010 Election Update


Nickie Antonio will be the first openly LGBT person to serve in the Ohio state legislature after her election to the house of representatives Tuesday. Antonio ran unopposed for the position, and previously served as a Lakewood, Ohio, city council member at-large.

Victoria Kolakowski (pictured below) was elected to the Alameda County, Calif., superior court, making her the first openly transgender judge in the country. Kolakowski won a runoff election Tuesday night after she was approved by 46% of county voters in June. She previously served as an administrative law judge for nearly five years and prior to that was an attorney for more than two decades. Other openly LGBT judges who won retention or election include Oregon supreme court justices Rives Kistler and Virginia Linder, and New Mexico court of appeals judge Linda Vanzi.

Health care advocate Kevin Lembo won his race to become Connecticut comptroller, putting him in charge of the state's financial reporting, record keeping, and fiscal analysis.

Laurie Jinkins was elected to the Washington State house, making her the first lesbian to serve as a legislator in the Evergreen State. Previously a public health and education advocate, Jinkins was endorsed by several organizations including the Stonewall Democrats, Planned Parenthood, the Washington Farm Bureau, and the Children's Campaign Fund.

Former California state senator Don Perata will be the next mayor of Oakland, beating out Oakland city council member Jean Quan and lesbian at-large council member Rebecca Kaplan (pictured below), according to The Oakland Tribune. Kaplan, who took in 21% of the vote, compared to Perata's 35% and Quan's 24%, was a heavy favorite among young voters. Her term on the city council is scheduled to end in 2012.

According to the Victory Fund, none of their openly gay Republican candidates won races Tuesday night, including Dan Hill's loss in the Nevada state house of representatives.

The California legislature will have at least five out members, including three new assembly members, Toni Atkins of San Diego, Ricardo Lara of Los Angeles, and Rich Gordon of San Mateo. Gay assembly speaker John Perez (pictured below) won without opposition, and Tom Ammiano beat Republican challenger Laura Peter with 83% of the vote. They will be joined by veteran state senators Mark Leno and Christine Kehoe.

1:18 ET - While all three Iowa supreme court judges who ruled for marriage equality were voted out of office, California associate supreme court justice Carlos Moreno -- who not only ruled for marriage equality, but ruled against the constitutionality of Prop. 8 -- keeps his job by an overwhelming margin, according to early precinct results from the Los Angeles Times.

1:05 ET - San Francisco district attorney Kamala Harris (pictured below), running for attorney general of California, looks to be headed toward defeat, according to precinct results from the Los Angeles Times. Harris vowed not to defend Prop. 8, while her opponent, Republican L.A. County district attorney Steve Cooley, stated the opposite.

1:01 ET - Oklahoma state representative Sally Kern has defeated Democrat Brittany Novotny with 65% of the vote in house district 84 in Oklahoma City. Novotny, a 30-year-old transgender attorney, challenged Kern after the incumbent was caught giving an antigay speech to voters in 2008, where she said gay people were a worse threat to America than terrorism.

12:48 ET - CNN is projecting that Colorado Democrat Jared Polis (pictured below) will keep his seat as a U.S. representative, retaining all of the contested Congress positions held by openly gay politicians. Polis, who was first elected in 2008, defeated Stephen Bailey, the Republican challenger, with 56% of the vote.

12:43 ET - Openly gay lawmakers Kyrsten Sinema, Jack Jackson Jr., Paula Aboud, and Matt Heinz have all kept their seats in the Arizona state legislature.

12:38 ET - Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid (pictured below) declared winner of Senate race in Nevada; defeats Tea Partyer Sharron Angle.

12:29 ET - Three Iowa supreme court justices who ruled in favor of marriage equality in the state will likely lose their seats, reports the The Des Moines Register.

12:18 ET - The Associated Press projects that Republican candidate Mark Steven Kirk has won the Illinois U.S. Senate seat once held by President Barack Obama. Kirk has defeated Democratic opponent Alexi Giannoulias.

12:08 ET - New York state senator Eric Schneiderman has won the race for attorney general against Republican Dan Donovan. A progressive Democrat, Schneiderman has vowed to sue the federal government over the Defense of Marriage Act.
Also in New York, pro-equality Democratic state senate candidates Tim Kennedy and David Carlucci have won, thanks to the support of groups including the Human Rights Campaign. Kennedy defeated incumbent Democrat Bill Stachowski, who voted against the marriage equality bill, in the primary for the Buffalo seat, and went on to win the general election against Republican Jack Quinn. Carlucci defeated Republican Scott Vanderhoef in the race to replace Republican Thomas Morahan, who died in July and voted against the marriage equality bill last year.

12:08 ET - Longtime congressman Ike Skelton has been defeated by his Republican challenger after 30 years in the House of Representatives. Skelton, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, was a top Democrat who vocally opposed repealing "don't ask, don't tell," and caused a flap when he said he would not want to repeal the law because it would force parents to discuss sexuality with children. Vicky Hartzler, 50, is a former home economics teacher who successfully campaigned in 2004 to constitutionally ban gay marriage in Missouri.

November 3, 12:03 a.m. ET - Joe Sestak (pictured below), Democrat and fierce opponent of DADT, loses to Republican Pat Toomey in race for U.S. senator from Pennsylvania.

11:52 ET - With only 42% of the district reporting in Queens, N.Y., Democratic leaders reportedly have called a win for their candidate for state senate, Tony Avella. If Avella, who supports marriage equality, wins, it would represent a gay-powered upset over incumbent Republican Frank Padavan, who has held the seat in the comparatively conservative district in Northeast Queens for nearly 40 years. Padavan voted against the marriage equality bill in 2009 and was targeted for defeat by gay rights groups including Fight Back New York PAC.

11:44 ET - Lesbian Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis., pictured below) reelected to Congress.

11:44 ET - Kevin Lembo becomes Connecticut's openly gay state comptroller, reports Gay Politics.

11:39 ET - Democratic majority leader Harry Reid leading Sharron Angle in battle for U.S. Senate from Nevada.

11:31 ET - Washington D.C., city council chairman Vincent Gray (pictured below) was elected mayor of the nation's capital Tuesday evening. Gray was backed by the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club in June over outgoing mayor Adrian Fenty, a marriage equality proponent who signed the bill legalizing same-sex marriage in the District in 2009. Also in D.C., gay incumbents David Catania and Jim Graham held on to their city council seats.

11:31 ET - Senator Ron Wyden, a Democrat representing Oregon, easily wins a third term in office.

11:17 ET - The Los Angeles Times has projected that California's Barbara Boxer (pictured below) will keep her U.S. Senate seat after a heated challenge from Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett-Packard CEO who put the reliably Democratic seat into play this election. Boxer's race has been considered a must-win for Democrats in order to maintain control of the Senate. The state's junior senator supports marriage equality and told The Advocate last week that she believes the Senate can pass repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" in the upcoming lame-duck session.

Boxer has also made clear that she disagrees with the Obama administration's decision to appeal a recent federal court decision striking down DADT as unconstitutional. "[President Obama] says that he has to do this, that Congress has to repeal it, to make sure it never comes back again," Boxer said. "So that's his opinion. I just know what I feel. I feel like it should end now."

11:03 ET - Republican Nikki Haley (pictured below) has been elected governor of South Carolina, making her the first female governor of the state, according to the Associated Press. Haley, a Tea Party favorite, rose to power with the support of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin.

10:55 ET - Senator and marriage equality supporter Russ Feingold predicted to lose in Wisconsin to Tea Partyer Ron Johnson, reports Reuters.

10:37 ET - Providence, R.I., mayor David Cicilline (pictured below) was elected to become the next openly gay member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He beat Republican John Loughlin with 51% of the vote with 91% of precincts reporting, according to CNN.

10:30 ET - Republican Tom Corbett wins governorship in Pennsylvania; as attorney general, Corbett signed an amicus brief supporting antigay Prop. 8.

10:21 ET - Marcus Brandon (pictured below) won election to the North Carolina house of representatives, making him the only openly gay state lawmaker in North Carolina and one of only five LGBT African-Americans serving in state legislatures in the country. Read more here.

10:19 ET - Democrat John Hickenlooper wins Colorado's gubernatorial race. He beat Republican Tom Tancredo, who launched an attack against his opponent when video of him being interviewed by transgender journalist Eden Lane surfaced in which he criticized "backwards thinking" people in rural parts of the West for antigay attacks.

10:03 ET - John McCain reelected to Senate, representing Arizona.

9:55 ET - Gay rights supporter Deval Patrick -- who is the father of a gay daughter -- wins reelection as Massachusetts's Democratic governor.

9:55 ET - Pennsylvanian Democrat and gay rights advocate Joe Sestak is looking good in his race against Pat Toomey, reports Nate Silver in The New York Times.

9:51 ET - Connecticut elects Democrat and former state attorney general Richard Blumenthal; he beat wrestling executive Linda McMahon.

9:40 ET - Maryland governor Martin O'Malley has won reelection over Robert Ehrlich with 54.8% of the vote, according to The Baltimore Sun. O'Malley told voters in September that he would sign a marriage equality bill if the state's general assembly passed it after the election. O'Malley previously said he prefers civil unions to marriage, but said he would endorse marriage if passed by the general assembly.Also in Maryland, the Victory Fund reports that all seven of Maryland's gay and lesbian incumbent and challenging candidates for the state legislature have won their positions. That includes Anne Kaiser, Richard Madaleno, challenger Bonnie Cullison, Heather Mizeur, Maggie McIntosh, challenger Mary Washington, and challenger Like Clippinger. Washington will become the second openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the country.

9:37 ET - Rep. Barney Frank reelected in Massachusetts.

"Barney Frank is nothing if not a fighter, and we're very happy he will return to the House and continue to fight for the people of Massachusetts and for all LGBT Americans. Nobody has worked harder or longer in the U.S. Congress for fairness and equality for the LGBT community," said Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.

9:16 ET - The New York governor's race goes to Andrew Cuomo, beating out Republican opponent Carl Paladino, who made headlines when he suggested children should not be "brainwashed" into thinking that homosexuality was acceptable. Cuomo quickly countered, calling the comments "reckless" and "divisive."

9:02 ET - Kirsten Gillibrand projected to hold on to her Senate seat in New York.

8:37 ET: Democrat Joe Manchin wins the U.S Senate race in West Virginia, beating out conservative Republican businessman John Raese and replacing Democratic senator Robert Byrd, who died in office in June. Manchin is pro-life and opposes same-sex marriage.

8:31 ET: As widely expected, Arkansas senator Blanche Lincoln, one of two Democratic senators to support the September Republican filibuster of the National Defense Authorization Act -- which includes a repeal "don't ask, don't tell" -- has been routed by Republican challenger John Boozman.

The other Democrat to break party lines in favor of filibuster? Sen. Mark Pryor -- also from Arkansas.

8:08 ET: Christine O'Donnell loses Delaware Senate bid to democrat Chris Coons.

8:06 ET: Republican Marco Rubio wins his Senate race in Florida, beating out Charlie Crist and Kendrick Meek. A staunch social conservative and the preferred candidate of Tea Party voters, Rubio is expected to replicate the antigay positions of predecessor Mel Martinez, who resigned last year.

8:00 ET: The Associated Press and MSNBC are calling the Ohio Senate race for GOP candidate Rob Portman, who would replace fellow Republican George Voinovich. In an October debate with Democratic opponent Lee Fisher, Portman signaled his disapproval of legislative repeal of "don't ask, don't tell," given the ongoing wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. "Let the military decide," Portman said. Voinovich was identified by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in September as a key vote to bring to the floor the 2011 National Defense Authorization Act, of which DADT repeal is a component. Republicans filibustered the bill; passage of DADT repeal during the upcoming lame-duck session is anything but certain.

7:50 ET: South Carolina GOP senator Jim DeMint defeated unemployed military veteran Alvin Green, according to the Associated Press. DeMint raised eyebrows when he reiterated his belief in October that openly gay people and unmarried sexually active women shouldn't be teachers.

7:30 ET: Kentucky Republican Rand Paul has won his race for the U.S. Senate, NBC News reports. Paul is a Tea Party-backed candidate replacing Republican senator Jim Bunning, who is retiring after this term. Paul said in October that the Department of Education should be abolished so it cannot teach young people about homosexuality. He said that if elected, he would aim to revisit part of the the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which makes it illegal for private businesses to discriminate against people on the basis of race, religion, gender, and ethnicity. Paul also told The Courier-Journal of Louisville that "don't ask, don't tell" has worked "relatively well" and has described the law as a "non-fraternization policy." Meanwhile, also in Kentucky, citizens of Lexington have elected Jim Gray, who is gay, as mayor of the city.

7:00 ET: Lexington, Ky. elects Jim Gray (pictured) as its first gay mayor, beating incumbent mayor Jim Newberry, reports the Victory Fund. "This is a tremendous victory for Lexington, for Kentucky's LGBT community, and for fairness. We are proud of Jim Gray and his fantastic campaign staff who fought hard for this win," said Chuck Wolfe, Victory Fund's president and CEO.

6:20 ET: The first openly gay candidate to win an election Tuesday is Sen. Benjamin Cruz of Guam. Cruz, a Democrat and the vice speaker of the Guam senate, was the author of Guam's contested civil union bill in 2009. He was formerly the chief justice of the Guam supreme court.

3:42 ET: The Victory Fund, which offers political training to LGBT candidates and works to elect them to office, is keeping track of the hundreds of gay and transgender candidates seeking office on Tuesday. We all know about Congressman Barney Frank of Massachusetts and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, but there are plenty of other big races to keep your eye on. The Victory Fund points out the mayoral contests that could put gay leaders in office from Oakland, Calif. (Rebecca Kaplan), to Lexington, Ky. (Jim Gray). Also worth noting is that three of the seven Iowa supreme court justices who ruled for marriage equality in 2009 are working hard to hold on to their jobs, following right-wing attempts to unseat them. Click here to find out more.

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