September 10, 2014 at 9:54 am EDT | by Michael K. Lavers
Gay candidates win Mass. primaries

Massachusetts State House, post-Goodridge, gay news, Washington Blade

Massachusetts could have the country’s first out attorney general after Maura Healey on Tuesday easily defeated former state Sen. Warren Tolman in the Democratic primary. (Photo by TWP; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

LGBT candidates in Massachusetts are poised to make history after winning their respective primaries on Tuesday.

Maura Healey defeated former state Sen. Warren Tolman by a 62-38 percent margin in the race to succeed Attorney General Martha Coakley who easily won the Democratic gubernatorial primary.

Healey, a lawyer who spearheaded the commonwealth’s challenge of the Defense of Marriage Act, would become the country’s first openly gay attorney general if she defeats Republican John Miller in the general election.

Stephen Kerrigan, an openly gay former aide to the late U.S. Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), defeated Mike Lake and Leland Cheung in the Massachusetts’ Democratic lieutenant gubernatorial primary.

Kerrigan and Coakley will square off against Republicans Charlie Baker and former state Rep. Karyn Polito in November to succeed Gov. Deval Patrick.

“Martha Coakley and Maura Healey’s records of game-changing action and accomplishment across the full range of issues impacting LGBTQ people offer hope for the challenges that remain to be tackled, and their triumphs are victories for full LGBTQ equality,” said MassEquality Executive Director Kara Coredini in a statement. “They stand poised to make history as the commonwealth’s first elected female governor and the country’s first openly gay attorney general.”

Chuck Wolfe, president of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, also applauded Healey.

“All of us at Victory are thrilled about Maura’s inspiring win tonight,” he said. “The wealth of experience and energy she brings to the table make her a formidable general election candidate, and we are proud to stand with her trailblazing campaign every step of the way.”

In other Massachusetts election results, former Massachusetts House Minority Leader Richard Tisei will face Seth Moulton in November after long-time Congressman John Tierney lost his primary in the commonwealth’s Sixth Congressional District.

The gay Republican and one-time lieutenant gubernatorial candidate narrowly lost to Tierney in 2012.

Tisei would become the first openly gay Republican elected to Congress if he defeats Moulton in November.

Richard Tisei, Republican, Massachusetts, gay news, Washington Blade

Richard Tisei (Photo courtesy of Tisei).

“Regardless of whether the cards had him playing against Tierney or Moulton in November, we always saw Richard as the better candidate,” Gregory T. Angelo, executive director of Log Cabin Republicans, told the Washington Blade on Wednesday. “With Tierney out of the picture, there is only one candidate on the ballot in the 6th district with legislative experience and a track record of accomplishment, and that’s Richard Tisei.”

Gay N.H. Republican loses congressional primary

In neighboring New Hampshire, former Congressman Frank Guinta defeated gay Republican Dan Innis in the Republican primary in the state’s First Congressional District.

Guinta in November will square off against Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, who he defeated in 2010.

New York State Sen. Gustavo Rivera (D-Bronx) on Tuesday defeated New York City Councilman Fernando Cabrera in his district’s Democratic primary.

The election took place against the controversy over the release of a tape in which Cabrera, a Bronx pastor, praised the Ugandan government’s anti-LGBT policies that include a law that imposes a life sentence upon anyone found guilty of repeated same-sex sexual acts.

Michael K. Lavers is the international news editor of the Washington Blade. Follow Michael

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