Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Nation

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

The Nation

Article excerpt


Ballot box bonanza

Tom Ammiano, called the "gay Jesse Ventura" by San Francisco journalists, may not have been crowned champion by voters November 2, but his write-in campaign for mayor stunned Willie Brown by forcing the incumbent into a December 14 runoff.

"This is history in the making, right here," said Tommi Avicolli Mecca, one of Ammiano's supporters, to the San Francisco Chronicle. Ammiano, president of the board of supervisors, was in the race for only three weeks and spent only $20,000.

In other election news, voters in Plattsburg, N.Y., elected the first openly gay mayor in the state's history. Republican Dan Stewart, who was endorsed by New York governor George Pataki, won by a narrow margin in a city where Democrats outnumber Republicans.

"Voters sent a clear message that merit matters to them, not sexual orientation," said Brian Bond, executive director of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a political group that contributed to Stewart's campaign.

In Louisiana, Democrat Larry Bagneris won the right to participate in a runoff for the Louisiana state house. In Michigan, Seth Chafetz was elected to the Birmingham city commission, and Craig Covey was elected to the Ferndale city council. And in Texas, Annise Parker was elected to the Houston city council.

Two antigay measures, in Falmouth, Maine, and Spokane, Wash., were rejected. But in one of the few dark clouds on Election Day, a pro-gay nondiscrimination measure in Greeley, Colo., was defeated. …

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