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|UPDATED: Gay political advocate Ken Britt falls short in Ga. House District 56 race|
|by Laura Douglas-Brown|
|July 31, 2012 20:38|
Gay political advocate Ken Britt fell short in his bid for State House District 56. With 88.46 percent of precincts reporting, Britt has 34.62 percent of the vote, compared to 65.38 percent for "Able" Mable Thomas, according to unofficial results from the Fulton County elections office.
Both Britt and Thomas are Democrats and the winner of today's primary will get the seat because there is no Republican opponent in November.
If successful, Britt could be the first openly gay man elected to the Georgia General Assembly. State Rep. Rashad Taylor, who came out while in office last year, also faces a reelection battle today.
Georgia Equality, Atlanta Stonewall Democrats, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed Britt. He is a longtime veteran of Atlanta’s LGBT scene, serving on such boards as AID Atlanta, Georgia Equality and also as co-chair of the national Human Rights Campaign. He was the executive director of the Alston & Bird for nearly 30 years before taking early retirement.
Politically, he worked behind the scenes on successful campaigns for gay candidates Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan and Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner before deciding to run for District 56 seat left open when Rep. Kathy Ashe decided not to seek reelection. Ashe has endorsed Britt in the campaign. ‘
Thomas entered Georgia’s political scene in 1984 when she won a seat in the Georgia House, where she served two terms. In 1997, she won a seat on the Atlanta City Council before seeking a return to the General Assembly in 2000, winning and serving six years.
Known as an ally on gay rights issues, she gave up her post in the legislature in 2008 to run for Congress against U.S. Rep. John Lewis and was defeated. In 2010, she tried to gain back her seat in the state House but lost to state Rep. Rashad Taylor.
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