The LGBT community is having a really good election year in Los Angeles in the recent city elections. The city is now conducting its 'run-off' elections. The two top candidates for Mayor are both Democrats - Councilman Eric Garcetti and Councilwoman Wendy Greuel.
Journalist Patrick Range McDonald wrote for the Los Angeles Weekly about the 'big gay night' in the City of the Angeles.
While local media and L.A. political leaders are bemoaning the city's embarrassingly low voter turnout on Election Day, something quite positive, even historic, happened last Tuesday night: Gay candidates across Los Angeles kicked butt.
Many gay politicos can't think of an election in Los Angeles history in which so many gay men -- who aren't in the closet, anyway -- finished first in their respective races. In fact, longtime L.A. gay rights activist Miki Jackson, who worked closely with gay rights icon Morris Kight, calls it a "high water mark."
Mike Bonin won a City Council seat outright, Mitch O'Farrell placed first in his City Council primary and heads to a runoff, and Ron Galperin finished number one in the City Controller contest and goes to a runoff. In addition, many local Republicans embraced Kevin James' mayoral candidacy, with the gay Republican finishing an impressive third in a race filled with Democrats. With all this happening in the country's second largest city, their success is further proof of a developing "Gay Okay" trend in American politics.
"It's definitely a more tolerant time and climate for gays and lesbians to be elected to the body politic," political analyst Jaime Regalado tells L.A. Weekly. "Recent state and national polling reflect this increased positive change in attitude on the part of likely voters on issues of gay marriage; apparently the comfort zone of straight voters with gay candidates has also increased."
Los Angeles-based gay rights activist and Courage Campaign founder Rick Jacobs says that Tuesday's strong showing by Bonin and crew "means that gay is normal, at least in LA. And that, to me, is the best news we could have."
McDonald continued later in the article
People in Europe certainly think it's noteworthy. With the headline "Gay Los Angeles City Council Candidate Elected," Mike Bonin's victory was trumpeted by Pink News, Europe's largest gay news service.
Bonin, a top City Council aide, won his race in Council District 11 and will replace his boss, Councilman Bill Rosendahl, who's also gay. Wining 61 percent of the vote, Bonin blew away the competition and avoids a runoff.
Mitch O'Farrell, who was a top aide to Councilman Eric Garcetti, placed first in an extremely competitive race in Council District 13, which is considered one of the top political jobs in California.
Two of the past three District 13 council members -- Michael Woo in 1993 and Eric Garcetti in 2013 -- made strong runs for mayor and former Councilwoman Jackie Goldberg, a lesbian, went on to serve in the state legislature.
O'Farrell edged out candidate John Choi, who's backed by the L.A. County Federation of Labor, considered one of the most powerful political machines in Los Angeles. O'Farrell didn't get over 50 percent of the vote, so he'll face Choi in the May 21 runoff.
In the City Controller race, Ron Galperin (photograph above) finished ahead of Councilman Dennis Zine in a squeaker. Since neither man got more than 50 percent, they'll also face each other in May. Zine had raised $811,303 to Galperin's $362,727 for the primary, but Galperin still placed first.