“I wanted people to know that I was a man running for council and happened to be gay, and proud to be gay … I knew from the onset that I did not want to hide who I was. I’m proud of who I am. But I did not want sexuality to be at the forefront of the job,” he said in an interview in June.
Tart is employed as a training officer for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and works on a national level “with developing, interpreting, and providing training on food safety codes, regulations, and policies to protect citizens from the risks of foodborne illness.”
Tart did not seek endorsements from such groups as Georgia Equality in his first campaign and said he won’t be asking for the state’s largest LGBT advocacy group’s endorsement for this race.
“At this point in my campaign, I am not planning to seek the endorsement of any non-Milton citizen associations, developers, political parties, or political action groups. Not only do I walk a legal fine line with what I can and cannot do as an elected official who also works for the federal government, I continue to think that the majority of Milton’s citizens respect elected officials who commit to running grassroots campaigns close to the citizenry they represent,” he said this week.
“I will continue to be a defender of the equal treatment, representation, and involvement of every citizen in Milton’s government, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, ethnic background, position, or sexual orientation. I do not feel the endorsement of LGBT organizations is necessary to advance this objective. In fact, the decisions and appointments I have made to date (and will continue to make when re-elected) reflect this value,” he added.
As an openly gay elected official serving in Georgia, Tart is part of an elite club that includes State Reps. Karla Drenner, Simone Bell and, as of May, Rashad Taylor; Decatur City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham, who is also running for re-election this year; Doraville Council member Brian Bates, Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, East Point City Council member Lance Rhodes, Marietta City Council member Johnny Sinclair, Pine Lake Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie deNobriga, Pine Lake City Council member Melanie Hammett.