It will be another month to find out who’s going to replace Simone Bell in House District 58 as no candidate reached the 50 percent plus one threshold in Tuesday’s special election and it will be headed to a runoff. 24-year-old political newcomer Park Cannon will face off against former state Rep. Ralph Long III on Feb. 16. If elected, Cannon would be the first openly queer person to serve in the state legislature.
Cannon finished with 47 percent of the vote while Long finished with 34 percent and attorney Kwame Thompson with 19 percent. 834 total votes were cast according to Fulton County election results. District 58 includes parts of Midtown, East Point and Dekalb County.
Here’s Cannon’s reaction Tuesday evening via her campaign’s Facebook page:
Bam! You all are AMAZING! Let's go finish up some business in the runoff! Tonight, we celebrate! ❤️❤️❤️
Cannon, a women’s wellness advocate for the Feminist Women’s Health Center, was asked to run for the seat by Bell after she resigned last November. She has scored endorsements from Georgia Equality, the Victory Fund and Georgia Stonewall Democrats and has far out-raised her fellow Democratic opponents, raising nearly $18,000 compared to Thompson’s $3,875. Long didn’t file a report.
Cannon made an important distinction in an interview with Georgia Voice regarding her being queer, saying, “I identify as queer, which is different from lesbian. I identify as a person who is carrying with me at all times genderqueer people, asexual people, transgender individuals. That is very different and that is a good thing here in the state of Georgia. As a person who is outspoken about myself and outspoken about my truth, I hope to bring healing to people. I hope to bring excitement to our community who are marginalized and underrepresented.”