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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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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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Election: Lesbian candidates headed for runoff in Fulton

Lesbian Joan Garner will face a runoff against Keisha Waites on August 10

In the Democratic primary for the District 6 seat on the Fulton County  Commission, lesbian candidates Joan Garner and Keisha Waites are headed for a runoff.

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial election results from Fulton County showed Waites in first place with 3,576 votes, or 41.45 percent, and Garner in second with 3,408 votes, or 39.5 percent. David Holder had 837 votes for 9.7 percent and Sally Smith had 807 votes for 9.35. Only 168 votes separated Waites and Garner.

Since no candidate received 50 percent plus one vote, the top two advance to a runoff on Aug. 10.