November 7, 2012 at 1:07 am EDT | by Chris Johnson
N.Y. gets first openly gay member of Congress
U.S. House candidate Sean Patrick Maloney

Sean Patrick Maloney (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

A former Clinton administration official on Tuesday became the first openly gay member of Congress elected from the State of New York.

Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat, won the race to represent New York’s 18th congressional district by beating incumbent Republican Rep. Nan Hayworth (R-N.Y.)

Chuck Wolfe, CEO of the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, commended Maloney for his win and noted his victory is noteworthy because he brings to Congress the experience of someone who’s in a same-sex relationship and has a large family.

“Sean will be the first out New Yorker to serve in Congress, and we could not be more thrilled about his victory,” Wolfe said. “Sean and his partner of 20 years have three children, so he will be a visible reminder to his colleagues of the true diversity of America’s families.”

The Cold Spring, N.Y., resident was a senior West Wing adviser in the Clinton administration and was first deputy secretary for former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer. He was endorsed by both the Victory Fund and the Human Rights Campaign.

Maloney defeated a Republican who was known for being one of the most pro-LGBT GOP members of Congress. Hayworth, who has a gay son, is a member of the LGBT Equality Caucus and a co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. She also voted against an amendment on the House floor submitted by Republicans reaffirming the Defense of Marriage Act. Hayworth had yet to endorse marriage equality, but said she respects a state’s right to decide the issue.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson attends the daily White House press briefings and is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

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