Alex Wan, Keisha Waites and De’Andre Pickett all lost in their respective runoff races on Tuesday, dashing hopes of having LGBT people in crucial positions on the city, county and statewide level.
Alex Wan was bested by fellow Atlanta City Councilmember Felicia Moore in the race for Atlanta City Council president, 55 percent to 45 percent.
Wan — who was elected in 2009 and became the first Asian-American member and the first openly gay man on the Council — had received the endorsements of Georgia Equality, Georgia Log Cabin Republicans, Georgia Stonewall Democrats, the Human Rights Campaign and the Victory Fund, while Moore got the Georgia Log Cabin Republicans’ endorsement (the group split its endorsement).
“We did not achieve the result we wanted in yesterday’s election,” Wan said in a Wednesday morning press release. “Still, I am proud of the race we’ve run and will be eternally grateful for the broad base of support from across Atlanta. I wish Council President-elect Moore the best in her new role and congratulated her on a good campaign.”
Wan said he looks forward to completing his term representing City Council District 6, which winds up Dec. 31.
“While I will not go into the New Year as your City Council President, this in no way ends my commitment to community and political engagement/activism,” he said. “I’ll take some time to recharge and decide the ways in which I want to continue creating solutions around the issues about which I care so much…and for the city about which I care so much.”
This leaves the Atlanta City Council without an openly LGBT member for the first time in about 20 years. And suddenly, it’s now the Doraville City Council that stands out for LGBT representation in the metro Atlanta area — openly gay civic activist Joseph Geierman and transgender woman Stephe Koontz were added to that Council after last month’s elections.
Lesbian former state Rep. Keisha Waites lost her bid for Fulton County Commission chair to former Fulton County Commissioner and Atlanta City Councilman Rob Pitts. Waites, like Wan, also lost 55 percent to 45 percent. Pitts takes over for former Chair John Eaves, an LGBT ally who resigned the seat to make an ultimately unsuccessful run for Atlanta mayor.
And in the race to fill Waites’ vacated House District 60 seat, Kim Schofield outlasted openly gay civic activist De’Andre Pickett 53 percent to 47 percent — a mere 233 vote difference.
Pickett, who received the endorsements of Georgia Equality and Georgia Stonewall Democrats, was vying to become the fifth openly LGBT member of the Georgia House — the most that have ever served in the Legislature. He also would have become the first openly LGBT African-American man elected in Georgia (former state Rep. Rashad Taylor, a gay African-American man, was outed in office in 2011 and did not win reelection). House District 60 covers southeast Atlanta, Hapeville and parts of Clayton and DeKalb county.