Victory Fund reports gay candidates elected across U.S.

Washington, D.C.

Dozens of openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates won election to public offices across the U.S. on Tuesday, according to the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund. The group, which endorsed a record-breaking 111 candidates in 2008, said more than 70 percent of its endorsed candidates had won their races by early Wednesday.

Among the winners in 2008:

* Jared Polis of Colorado became the first openly gay man elected to the U.S. Congress as a non-incumbent. He joins Rep. Barney Frank and Rep. Tammy Baldwin, both reelected Tuesday night, as the only openly LGBT Members of Congress.

* Kate Brown became the first openly LGBT Secretary of State in the U.S., and the second-highest ranking elected official in the state of Oregon. Brown is openly bisexual.

* Sam Adams was elected mayor of Portland, Oregon earlier in the year. He will become the first openly gay mayor of one of the 30 largest U.S. cities when he's sworn in next year.

* Jason Bartlett, who came out as gay in his current term, was reelected to the Connecticut State House. He is only the second openly gay African-American state legislator in the nation.

* Thomas Robichaux and Seth Bloom, both gay men, simultaneously became the first-ever openly LGBT elected officials in the state of Louisiana when they were elected to the Orleans Parish School Board in an October primary.

* John Perez became the first openly gay person of color elected to the California Assembly.

* Lupe Valdez was reelected to a second term as sheriff of Dallas County, Texas. First elected in 2004, Valdez was the first woman, the first Latina and the first out lesbian ever to win the post.

* Kevin Beckner won a seat on the Hillsborough County Commission in Florida, unseating an anti-gay incumbent and becoming the first openly gay man elected in the county.

* Rebecca Kaplan will be the first out lesbian to serve on the Oakland, Calif. City Council after winning her race Tuesday.

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