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Will gay-baiting continue in Ga. governor’s race?

GOP candidate for Governor Nathan Deal

Georgia politicians resorting to gay-baiting in their campaigns sometimes seems as seasonal as the Dogwood blossom, and after being in full bloom during the Republican primary for governor, anti-gay tactics may not return for this fall’s general election.

“I don’t perceive [gay issues] as being an issue in this race, moving forward,” said Brian Robinson, spokesperson for former U.S. Rep. Nathan Deal, who won the Aug. 10 Republican runoff after running weeks of television commercials attacking former Secretary of State Karen Handel for supporting gay rights when she ran for Fulton County Commission in 2002 and 2003.

“We were in a very hard-fought campaign [against Handel], and we just, we had to fight,” Robinson told the Georgia Voice. “We were focused on talking to Republican voters in the Republican primary, and we were focused on communicating a message that Nathan Deal is the true conservative, and he has been unwavering in his principles.”

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Garner becomes first out Fulton commissioner

Lesbian Joan Garner celebrates election night victory

After winning the Aug. 10 runoff election to become the Fulton County District 6 Commissioner, Joan Garner said the experience was still “surreal.”

“I’m a bit tired. I can’t sleep,” Garner said the day after she defeated Keisha Waites 65 to 35 percent. “I’ve got to learn to turn it off.”

Garner placed second in the Democratic primary in July, then came from behind to easily win the August runoff. Her name will now appear on the November ballot, but because no Republican or independent candidate qualified, the Democratic runoff effectively decided the seat.

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New print edition hits stands today

The B-52s, GA's first openly gay county commissioner, and both Nathan Deal and Roy Barnes’ campaign staffs — just a few of the people speaking out in the new issue of the GA Voice

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‘Daily Show’ weighs in on anti-gay Ga. GOP runoff

Last night’s "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart" highlighted the Republican gubernatorial runoff between Karen Handel and eventual winner Nathan Deal.

The segment highlighted the endorsements Deal and Handel received in the run-up to Tuesday’s vote. Deal was endorsed by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee. Handel received the backing of “Momma Grizzly” Sarah Palin.

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Atlanta Eagle endorses Waites; denies her claim that Fulton opponent tried to tear down sign

Joan Garner and Keisha Waites

A large poster of Keisha Waites is tacked to the exterior wall of the Atlanta Eagle on Ponce de Leon Avenue, which a co-owner says is, yes, an endorsement for the Fulton County District 6 candidate.

Waites faces Joan Garner in today’s runoff. Garner and Waites are both lesbians, so whoever wins tonight will become the first openly gay person on the Fulton County Commission. Because no Republican or independent candidate qualified for the ballot, today’s Democratic runoff decides the seat.

Robby Kelley, co-owner of the Atlanta Eagle, says Waites helped fellow co-owner Richard Ramey with a legal issue involving his sister; Ramey felt indebted to her enough to allow her to put the enormous poster of herself on the bar. The poster has been up since Aug. 3.

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Lesbian candidates face off in Fulton Commission runoff

Joan Garner and Keisha Waites seek Fulton County Commission seat

Keisha Waites and Joan Garner are vying to be the first openly gay Fulton County Commissioner as they face each other in a runoff on Aug. 10.

During the July 20 Democratic primary for the District 6 seat, Waites placed first in a field of four with 3,576 votes, or 41.46 percent, with Garner in second with 3,408 votes, or 39.14 percent, according to official Fulton County Elections results.

Only 168 votes separated Waites and Garner, who advance to the runoff because neither received more than 50 percent of the vote. David Holder received 837 votes, or 9.7 percent. Sally Smith finished last with 807 votes, or 9.55 percent.

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Aug. 10 runoff races to watch

The General Primary Runoff will determine the winner out of the top two finishers in contests where no candidate received the majority of votes in the July 10 primary election.

In addition to the contest between lesbian candidates Keisha Waites and Joan Garner in Fulton County, here are two of the top races of LGBT interest on the primary ballot.

While few candidates for the state’s top offices have openly campaigned for LGBT votes, many have long records — some positive, more negative — on issues that impact our community.

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GOP runoff to determine who faces Barnes in governor’s race

Former Gov. Roy Barnes cruised to an easy victory in the July 20 Democratic gubernatorial primary, easily meeting the 50 percent plus one vote margin required to win without a runoff.

Barnes, who served one term before being beaten by Sonny Perdue, took 65.8 percent of the vote in a crowded field.

During his previous tenure, Barnes became the first sitting Georgia governor to address a gay rights group when he spoke to the Atlanta Executive Network in July 2000.

Barnes did not back specific gay-related legislation but expressed strong support for principles of non-discrimination, including sexual orientation. Barnes also signed Georgia’s first hate crimes law, although the measure was eventually struck down as “too vague.”

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GOP gubernatorial candidate Nathan Deal beats a dead (gay) horse

Nathan Deal released another commercial today citing Karen Handel’s alleged past support of gay issues. Deal, a former congressman, and Handel, former Secretary of State, face off Aug. 10 in the runoff to see who will be the Republican nominee for Georgia governor.

The commercial, a 30-second spot entitled “Straw,” hit YouTube this morning. Its release coincides with the announcement that former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin will speak at a Handel campaign rally on Aug. 9 – one day before the runoff.