Kathy Ashe, who decided not to seek reelection for Ga. House District 56, today announced her endorsement of gay political advocate Ken Britt to fill that post.
"I wholeheartedly support Ken Britt as the next Representative of the 56th District,” said Ashe in a prepared statement.
“Ken has a passion for community service, the business acumen and experience, and an impressive track record of leadership on progressive community and political issues. I cannot think of another individual better suited to this role, and I would be reassured and proud to know that my constituents, old and new, would have Ken championing their interests in the Georgia Legislature."
Ga. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), the first openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the country, faces a major challenge in her re-election bid. But it isn’t her opponent, it’s her new district, Bell told the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia on May 12.
Republicans control the Georgia General Assembly, and thus controlled redistricting in the wake of the 2010 U.S. Census. Bell was one of several Democratic lawmakers drawn into a district with another incumbent.
Georgia Equality has issued early endorsements for state Representatives Karla Drenner, Simone Bell and Keisha Waites as well as candidate Ken Britt. All are openly gay.
The state LGBT advocacy group has endorsed Bell and Drenner in their past elections. Britt, who is running in his first race, is a former board member of Georgia Equality. Jeff Graham, executive director of Georgia Equality, said today no endorsement of gay State Rep. Rashad Taylor has been made. He is facing strong LGBT ally and incumbent Pat Gardner for re-election.
The announcement of the early endorsements was made at an LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party on Saturday held at the Democratic Party Headquarters. House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams attended the meeting to urge members and supporters to work hard this election season, especially before the July 31 primary, to ensure progressive candidates are elected.
For Ken Britt, the time is finally right.
“I have the ‘fire in the belly,’” Britt told GA Voice during a recent interview. “If you had asked me 10 years ago, I probably would have said I was content to stay on the sidelines.”
Britt, 63, recently announced his candidacy for the District 56 seat in the Georgia House of Representatives, currently held by Democrat and gay-rights ally Rep. Kathy Ashe. Ashe announced her retirement in mid-April after more than 20 years under the Gold Dome.
Ken Britt, the retired executive director of Atlanta's Alston & Bird law firm, announced today he is running for the state House seat vacated by Democratic Rep. Kathy Ashe who recently announced she is retiring from her post after serving 10 terms.
“I have been encouraged to run for this office, and I would be honored to serve the people of the 56th District in the Georgia House of Representatives,” Britt said in a prepared statement.
“This would be a natural next step for me given my lifelong engagement in local, state and national politics. The new district includes great Atlanta neighborhoods with big plans and big needs. I look forward to using the extensive business experience I acquired working as the executive director of one of the nation’s largest and most respected law firms, as well as the passion of an activist, to make things happen," he added.
Joan Garner, Fulton County Commissioner-elect for District 6, is holding a public celebration of her runoff victory today from 6:30 p.m.-9 p.m. at Pizzeria Vesuvias. Garner won the Aug. 10 runoff against Keisha...