At least two gay candidates will be on the ballot for East Point City Council. The official qualifying period for candidates for the November election ended Friday.

Openly gay incumbent East Point City Councilmember Lance Rhodes faces two challengers in his bid for reelection to represent Ward B: Marie T. Williams and Karen Rene.

Two gay candidates in bids for East Point City Council

Rhodes has already been endorsed by statewide gay political group Georgia Equality and the National Lesbian & Gay Victory Fund.

“During my two terms in office, East Point citizens have demonstrated vision and a steadfast resolve to support equal rights within the LGBT community,” Rhodes said in February when he received the endorsements. “We have seen a range of actions from the adoption of Domestic Partner Benefits to the inclusion of the LGBT community in our City Charter.”

Kenneth DeLeon, who is gay and came close to winning a seat on the East Point Council in 2009, qualified to run against incumbent Myron B. Cook in Ward C. Nanette Saucier is the third candidate in that race.

“I have spoken with many East Point residents and one thing is loud and clear,” DeLeon states on his campaign website. “The voters of this city don’t want us airing our dirty laundry to the rest of the world, but they do want to see us roll up our sleeves, listen, and work toward common goals for the city.”

The election is set for Nov. 8, 2011.

There are currently 12 known openly gay elected officials serving in Georgia.

They include State Rep. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates), State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), State Rep. Rashad Taylor (D-Atlanta), Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, Decatur City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham, Doraville City Council member Brian Bates, East Point City Council member Lance Rhodes, Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, Marietta City Council member Johnny Sinclair, Milton City Council member Alan Tart, Pine Lake Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie deNobriga and Pine Lake City Council member Melanie Hammett.