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Election results: Keisha Waites to become fourth openly gay Ga. state legislator

The ninth time was the charm for Keisha Waites, a lesbian candidate who appears to have won today's special election for State House District 60.

With 99 percent of percents reporting, unofficial election results from the Georgia Secretary of State's office showed Waites with 54.2 percent of the vote, or 321 votes, compared to 18.6 percent (110 votes) for Theresa Middlebrooks and 27.2 percent (161 votes) for Latrenka Riley.

The campaign was Waites' ninth bid for public office. She has previously sought seats in the Georgia House, Georgia Senate, the Fulton County Commission and the Atlanta City Council.

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Keisha Waites wants to ‘prove’ she can succeed with ninth run for public office

Keisha Waites running for office for a ninth time

An emotional Keisha Waites says she wants voters to look past the fact she has run unsuccessfully eight times for city, county and state offices now that she is campaigning for a an open seat in the Georgia House of Representatives. Instead, she said voters — and all people in the LGBT community — should know that her multiple runs for office signify a dedication to public service.

Waites, 39, a lesbian, brought campaign supporter Devin Barrington Ward for an interview with GA Voice at the 14th Street Starbucks on Wednesday. Waites is running against two other women in the Feb. 7 special election for House District 60, but has not been open to interview with the press in the past because she said she believes she is portrayed inaccurately as simply a “perennial candidate.” But by sitting down with reporters now, she said she hopes for a “healing” as well as to be a proactive contributor to a broader portrait of herself.

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Joan Garner takes oath of office as first openly gay Fulton Co. Commissioner

Joan Garner, Fulton Co. Commission District 6

It was an historic day today as Joan Garner, the first openly gay person elected to the Fulton County Commission, took her oath of office and officially began work as a member of the governing board.

At her side as she was sworn in was her partner of 11 years, attorney Jane Morrison.Garner also had a cheering section in the room who clapped as she entered the room with the other Fulton County Commissioners who were also sworn in today as part of the inauguration ceremony.

Garner was sworn in by her friend, Cynthia D. Wright, Chief Judge of the Superior Court of Fulton County.

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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.