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|Longtime gay activist Ken Britt announces run for Ga. House seat|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|April 18, 2012 08:40|
Ken Britt, the retired executive director of Atlanta's Alston & Bird law firm, announced today he is running for the state House seat vacated by Democratic Rep. Kathy Ashe who recently announced she is retiring from her post after serving 10 terms.
“I have been encouraged to run for this office, and I would be honored to serve the people of the 56th District in the Georgia House of Representatives,” Britt said in a prepared statement.
“This would be a natural next step for me given my lifelong engagement in local, state and national politics. The new district includes great Atlanta neighborhoods with big plans and big needs. I look forward to using the extensive business experience I acquired working as the executive director of one of the nation’s largest and most respected law firms, as well as the passion of an activist, to make things happen," he added.
Ashe, a gay ally, recently announced her retirement due to "polarization' within the General Assembly. District 56 includes gay-favorite neighborhoods including Ansley Park, Sherwood Forest, Home Park, Georgia Tech and Midtown. Her term expires in January.
Britt's announcement that he is running for office means he will be taking a step into the political limelight rather than staying in the background working as a strategist such as he did on the successful 2009 campaign for Atlanta City Council member Alex Wan, the only gay member of the council; and Joan Garner, who became the first openly gay Fulton County Commissioner in 2010.
As a U.S. Army veteran, Britt also worked on the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell." At a Service Members Legal Defense Network fundraiser last yeari in Atlanta, Britt donated his personal and original copy of the document signed by President Barack Obama repealing the anti-gay policy.
From a press release announcing Britt's campaign:
Britt was a member of the 2010 Coordinated Campaign Committee for the Democratic Party of Georgia, which was chaired by former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. During the 2011 Georgia legislative session, Britt served as a full-time legislative volunteer which provided him with the opportunity to hone his advocacy skills while further learning first-hand about the inner workings of the legislature.
There are four openly gay candidates in the Georgia House: Reps. Karla Drenner, Simone Bell, Rashad Taylor and Keisha Waites. All are Democrats.
In the video below, Britt discusses the help the national Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund provides to Atlanta gay candidates seeking office.
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