|[Video] Gay Ga. State Rep. Simone Bell outlines her new district and what it will take to win|
|Written by Dyana Bagby|
|Tuesday, 15 May 2012 18:00|
Ga. State Rep. Simone Bell (D-Atlanta), the first openly lesbian African-American state legislator in the country, faces a major challenge in her re-election bid. But it isn’t her opponent, it’s her new district, Bell told the LGBT Caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia on May 12.
Republicans control the Georgia General Assembly, and thus controlled redistricting in the wake of the 2010 U.S. Census. Bell was one of several Democratic lawmakers drawn into a district with another incumbent.
"The map is the challenge, not my opponent," Bell said as she stood before a map and described the new neighborhoods and areas drawn into her district.
Bell faces Rep. Ralph Long in the Democratic primary for the District 58 seat.
Bell explained her district now includes a portion of Virginia Highland, the Fourth Ward, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown, some of the Auburn Avenue area and Turner Field. West of I-20, Bell’s district also now covers Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh, Fort McPherson and to Cascade Road.
Bell first won office in a special election in 2009 and has served for three sessions. She is one of four openly gay legislators in the General Assembly, along with Reps. Karla Drenner, Rashad Taylor and Keisha Waites.
At the LGBT Caucus meeting, it was also annouced that statewide LGBT advocacy organization Georgia Equality has made early endorsements for Bell, Waites, Drenner and veteran LGBT activist and politico Ken Britt, who is running for office for the first time and seeking to fill Kathy Ashe's former seat.
Watch Bell explain the differences in her district now from two years ago and strategies she hopes to implement to win reelection.
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