November 9, 2016 at 6:00 pm EST | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
LGBT allies win D.C. races
local elections, Vincent Gray, gay news, Washington Blade, City Council

Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, won his race for City Council on Tuesday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Nine of 10 LGBT allies, including former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, won their races for seats on the City Council and the D.C. State Board of Education on Tuesday, ensuring that the city government will continue its strong support for LGBT rights.

Among those winning their races was State Board of Education President Jack Jacobson, the city’s highest-ranking openly gay elected official. Jacobson ran unopposed in his bid for re-election to the Ward 2 school board seat.

Another out gay candidate, Libertarian Party activist Martin Moulton, lost his race for the city’s congressional delegate seat held by longtime LGBT rights supporter Eleanor Holmes Norton by a lopsided margin.

Moulton received 17,272 votes (6 percent) compared to 244,711 votes (85 percent) received by Norton.

But Moulton’s vote total was more than the combined D.C. vote totals of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and Libertarian presidential contender Gary Johnson.

Trump received 11,553 votes (4 percent); Johnson received 4,501 votes (1.57 percent). Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton received 260,223 votes (90.54 percent) in D.C., giving her the District’s three electoral votes in her unsuccessful race for U.S. president.

An advisory referendum on the city’s election ballot asking residents if they support a proposal to petition Congress in 2017 to approve D.C. as the nation’s 51st state won by a lopsided margin of 79.2 percent. The referendum received strong support from LGBT activists.

With Republicans retaining their full control of Congress in Tuesday’s election, nearly all political observers believe a D.C. statehood petition would be dead on arrival in Congress next year.

Gray, who LGBT activists consider one of the city’s most LGBT supportive politicians, won his race for the Ward 7 D.C. Council seat he held before becoming mayor with 83.8 percent of the vote. He ran against independent candidates Gary Butler and Christian Carter, who received 7.1 percent and 5.5 percent respectively.

Council members David Grosso (I-At-Large) and Robert White (D-At-Large), both strong supporters of the LGBT community, won their races for the two at-large Council seats up for grabs this year in a six-candidate race. White came in first place with 37.9 percent of the vote. Grosso came in second place with 17.8 percent of the vote.

Statehood Green Party candidate G. Lee Aikin, a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, received 4.8 percent of the vote. Republican Carolina Celnik, who received the endorsement of D.C. Log Cabin Republicans, received 4.6 percent.

Under D.C.’s election law the candidates with the highest two vote counts are declared the winners of the two at-large seats.

Council members Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) and Brandon Todd (D-Ward 4) ran unopposed in their respective re-election bids. Both are strong supporters of LGBT rights.

Political newcomer Trayon White, who defeated incumbent Ward 8 Council member LaRuby May in the Democratic primary in June, ran unopposed for the seat in Tuesday’s general election. White expressed general support for LGBT-related issues in his responses to a candidate questionnaire from the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance.

In the at-large State Board of Education contest, pro-LGBT incumbent Mary Lord lost her bid for re-election to challenger Ashley Carter in a three-candidate race in what was considered an upset victory for Carter.

Carter received 32.4 percent of the vote compared to 28.8 percent received by Lord. Challenger Tony Donaldson Jr. received 16.2 percent of the vote.

Ward 7 Board of Education incumbent Karen Williams, who received the endorsement of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club, won re-election on Tuesday in a three-candidate race with 42.3 percent of the vote.

In the Ward 8 school board race, political newcomer Marcus Batchelor, who was considered the underdog, beat incumbent Tierra Jolly and fellow challenger Shakira Hemphill with 31 percent of the vote. Jolly and Hemphill received 29.4 percent and 28.3 percent respectively.

Batchelor, who was endorsed by the Stein Club, expressed strong support for LGBT issues, including LGBT inclusive sex education instruction for the city’s public schools.

24 gay ANC candidates win races

Twenty-four of 30 openly gay or lesbian candidates running for Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats that were known to the Washington Blade won their races on Tuesday.

Fifteen of the 30 known gay or lesbian candidates ran unopposed. Among those who had an opponent, 10 won and five lost their races.

Among the winners who faced an opponent were lesbian photographer Sharon Farmer, who beat an incumbent for the ANC 1A07 seat in Ward 1. Others who won races against opponents were Randy Downs, 2B05; Scott Davies, 2B06; Jason Forman, 2F01; and Alex Graham, 2F03.

Graham defeated incumbent gay candidate Pepin Andrew Tuma for the 2F03 seat by a margin of 41 percent to 36.4 percent.

In the hotly contested race for the ANC 6D05 seat, which includes the rapidly developing Buzzard’s Point neighborhood in Southwest D.C., gay incumbent Roger Moffatt beat three challengers by garnering 37 percent of the vote.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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