Yesterday was primary day in Georgia. Several high profile candidates and races came to an end, while others simply narrowed the field en route to an August runoff. Two lesbian candidates made history in their bid for a Fulton County Commission seat, but the results were not so kind to a gay candidate attempting to unseat one of the Georgia General Assembly’s most gay-friendly Republican representatives.
Here’s a rundown of several races. More information will be added later today.
Gubernatorial candidate Roy Barnes, Georgia’s former Governor, easily won the Democratic nod outright, while Republican challengers Karen Handel and Nathan Deal face a runoff after neither candidate received the required percentage of votes to move forward. The runoff will be Aug. 10.
Gay candidate Keith Gross failed to move forward, losing to Sandy Murray in the Democratic race for House District 80. Gross, a local business person, received 32 percent of the total vote. Murray cruised to victory with 68 percent. Murray will face gay-friendly incumbent Rep. Mike Jacobs (R-Atlanta) for the seat in the general election.
The Fulton County Commission will have its first openly lesbian member after Joan Garner and Keisha Waites face a runoff for the seat. Waites placed first in the field of four Democratic candidates, though by only 168 votes. Garner was second with 39.50 percent of the total vote. The two face off in the Aug. 10 runoff. Either would be the first time an open lesbian has held such a position on the Commission.
State Senator Vincent Fort, an outspoken advocate for LGBT rights in the General Assembly, claimed 67.4 percent of the total vote against challenger Graham Balch in the race for State District 39. Both candidates courted LGBT votes during the campaign.