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Mixed results for gay candidates in Ga. races

Kenneth DeLeon running for local office

At least five openly gay candidates were on the ballot in municipal races around Georgia yesterday. Based on unofficial results from county election boards, at least one has won outright, a Savannah hopeful and a Milton incumbent were defeated, a gay incumbent in East Point faces a runoff, and another East Point hopeful barely missed a runoff vote.

One lesbian incumbent became officially victorious as soon as polls closed at 7 p.m.Tuesday. Decatur City Commissioner Kecia Cunningham, who was first elected in 1999 and was the first African-American openly gay elected official in Georgia, ran unopposed this election cycle, securing her another term serving District 2, Post B, in the gay-popular Atlanta suburb.

Cunningham is one of at least 12 openly gay elected officials currently serving around the state.

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Ga. gay candidates make final push as Nov. 8 election nears

Kenneth DeLeon running for local office

Pam Miller, endorsed by Georgia Equality and the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, hopes to be the first openly gay candidate elected in Savannah. Her race against incumbent Mary Ellen Sprague in District 4 of the Savannah City Council has garnered enough attention to be considered one of the Victory Fund’s “Top 10 Races to Watch” come Nov. 8.

“These are exciting and even historic races,” said Shawn Werner, the Victory Fund’s director of campaign services, in a statement. “In each case a victory would mean a real step forward for a local LGBT community, and some of these will be very competitive up until Election Day.

“You hear some call 2011 an ‘off year’ for politics, but that’s wrong. We’ve endorsed 75 candidates this year, largely in municipal elections. These local races are incredibly important. We don’t just win equality nationally or even statewide. We win it every day, city by city and town by town,” Werner said.

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Openly gay Savannah city council candidate endorsed by Georgia Equality

Pam Miller running for Savannah City CouncilGeorgia Equality is hosting a reception for openly gay Savannah City Council candidate Pam Miller on May 6.

Miller, who is endorsed by Georgia Equality, would be the first openly gay Savannah elected official and the first openly gay elected official outside metro Atlanta, Georgia Equality states in a press release. Georgia Equality is the state's largest LGBT advocacy organization in the state.

Hosts for the reception are Georgia's only openly gay state Reps. Karla Drenner (D-Avondale Estates) and Simone Bell (D-Atlanta) as well as Mayor Pro-Tem Kathie deNobriga of the city of Pine Lake.

The reception will be Friday, May 6, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Cowtippers.