A city in South Florida will have an all-LGBTQ City Commission after Tuesday’s election.
Residents of Wilton Manors voted for three gay candidates, including a mayor and two city commissioners, in the municipal election.
According to Victory Fund, an organization that works to increase the number of openly LGBTQ officials in all levels of government, Wilton Manors is the second city in the United States to have a city council with all gay members, after Palm Springs, California.
Commissioner Justin Flippen was elected mayor, while the outgoing mayor, Gary Resnick, won a commissioner seat. Paul Rolli won the second commissioner seat in a four-candidate race.
Commissioner Scott Newton, the only straight member of the commission, lost his re-election bid.
The two other commissioners who form the five-person body, Julie Carson and Tom Green, are in the middle of their terms.
Houston Mayor Annise Parker, president and CEO of Victory Fund, said, “Voters in Wilton Manors clearly understand the leadership LGBTQ elected officials bring to public service and demanded more of it.”
“However, our community remains severely underrepresented at every level of government across this nation, so this is an exciting outlier and is emblematic of the direction our country is heading,” Parker said.
Wilton Manors has had members of the LGBTQ community on the City Commission since the 1980s, according to its website. By 2000 the city’s governing body was majority gay. Using data from the 2010 Census, the Williams Institute ranked Wilton Manors second among US small cities with the highest number of same-sex couples.
LGBTQ candidates ran for elected office in all 50 states and the District of Columbia for this election cycle, according to Victory Fund, with nearly 400 candidates appearing on the ballots. The 2018 midterm elections brought wins for the LGBTQ community up and down the ballot, with historic firsts including that of Colorado Rep. Jared Polis, who became the first openly gay man elected governor.
Polis was one of several LGBTQ candidates who ran for governor this cycle, along with Oregon Democrat Kate Brown, Vermont Democrat Christine Hallquist and Texas Democrat Lupe Valdez.