Wednesday, September 13, 2006

LGBT Candidates

Del. Maggie McIntosh (District 43) and Del. Anne Kaiser (District 14), the two openly lesbian candidates who sought reelection, easily won their primaries. Incumbent Del. Richard Madaleno, the only incumbent openly gay delegate, won the Democratic nomination for the Senate in District 18. I wish I could claim that it was due to all of my hard work but he was unopposed.

Heather Mizeur was the only new openly gay or lesbian candidate to win her party's nomination. She not only won but topped the ballot in District 20, besting both incumbents and a slew of other hopefuls. Like the two incumbents, Mizeur is a lock for election in her extremely Democratic district. I don't know how many openly gay or lesbian legislators other states have but I bet four places Maryland in the top tier.

Neither Anthony McCarthy or Mary Washington, who were running in Baltimore City, succeeded in winning their party's nomination and thus Maryland will not elect the first African-American gay or lesbian state legislators. However, Washington came in an extremely respectable fourth behind the three incumbents in District 43. If one of them should leave the legislature, she would be in a good position to win appointment to the open seat. McCarthy came in a more distant fifth in his race in District 44.

Finally, but perhaps most importantly, Dana Beyer sought to become the first openly transgendered legislator in Maryland and the nation. Dana came in a very respectable fifth behind two incumbents and two candidates who raised over $100,000 for the first House races. Even if Dana didn't win a seat, I think she made the largest advance for transgendered rights since the movie Transamerica came out. Through her campaign, many people got to know at least one transgendered person as a person. Her triumph was to be treated as a serious candidate, alternatively lauded and attacked for her positions and her campaign rather than being transgendered.