May 28, 2014 at 4:28 pm EDT | by Staff reports
Gay Pa. Republican wins Dem nomination
Mike Fleck, Pennsylvania, gay news, Washington Blade

State Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon County) narrowly won the Democratic nomination to appear on the November ballot after losing the Republican primary to a write-in candidate. (Photo courtesy of Fleck)

THREE SPRINGS, Pa. — A gay state representative who is the only out Republican in the Pennsylvania Legislature and the first openly gay state lawmaker there, will appear on the November ballot as a Democrat after he narrowly lost to a primary opponent.

Huntingdon County Treasurer Richard Irvin defeated state Rep. Mike Fleck (R-Huntingdon County) on May 20 after he staged a successful write-in campaign. The Patriot-News on May 27 reported that Fleck won the Democratic nomination to appear on the November ballot by a 901-886 vote margin.

“Thank you to the 15 democrats who put me over the top on the democratic write-in,” wrote Fleck on his Facebook page on May 27. “And thank you to the three thousand plus republicans who voted based on my job performance. While a lot can still happen legally, today is a new day and if we are ultimately successful in our bid to continue thru the fall, rest assured, I will give it my all.”

Fleck, who was first elected to the Pennsylvania House of Representatives in 2006, came out in 2012 during an interview with a local newspaper.

He told the Patriot-News on May 27 he feels his opponents voted against him because of his sexual orientation.

“I think we all know what the race was about,” said Fleck. “For the most part it was a vote against me, not necessarily a vote for [Irvin.]”

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