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Back to Section One | Back to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 17 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 33
Latest state primary results look good for LGBTs
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Latest state primary results look good for LGBTs

Gay man wins Wisconsin vote, Florida to get first Gay legislator

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

In this week's primary elections, LGBT candidates have scored additional victories, including one in Wisconsin and four in Florida.

In Wisconsin, openly Gay Democratic State Rep. Mark Pocan won a chance to succeed Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, who is running for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl.

The Victory Fund, which is backing both Pocan and Baldwin, predicts he will win easily in his heavily Democratic district, which includes the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Pocan has been active in local and state politics since 1991, and he has owned a small business in Madison since graduating from the University of Wisconsin in 1986. He married his longtime partner, Philip Frank, in Toronto in 2006.

Baldwin will face former Wisconsin governor and Bush II cabinet secretary Tommy Thompson, who squeaked by three opponents to win the Republican primary. Early polling shows the race will be close.

On the same day, in Florida, four Gay men won Democratic primaries for the state legislature and will advance to the general election in November.

Miami Beach resident David Richardson won his primary and is unopposed in November's election, guaranteeing he will become the first openly Gay state legislator in Florida history.

In Key West, openly Gay Democrat Ian Whitney ran unopposed in his party's primary and will advance to the general election, where he faces Republican Holly Merrill-Raschein.

In Orange County, candidate Joe Saunders also won his Democratic primary. Saunders faces stiff Republican opposition in November, in what Gay South Florida website calls 'the most hotly contested region of the state.' His opponent is Rene Plasencia.

In Brevard County, Gay candidate John Paul Alvarez also won his primary and faces Republican incumbent John Tobia in November.

Gay Miami Herald reporter Steve Rothaus exulted, 'Florida has not only broken the lavender ceiling, we could shatter it entirely.'

(Editor's note: For an in-depth look at Washington state primary results, see last week's SGN.)

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