Sam Adams (right), a city commissioner in Portland, Ore., made the history that Dallas’ Ed Oakley (left) was hoping to make last year. Adams avoided a runoff by capturing 58 percent of the vote to become Portland’s next mayor. He will be the first openly gay mayor to represent a “major city” in the U.S. For details on how major Portland is compared to Dallas and Providence, R.I. â€” which until now was the largest city to be represented by an openly gay mayor â€“ seeÂ this previous post. According to the Associated Press, “the mayor-elect’s sexual orientation was never an issue in the contest, but Adams was aware of the history he was widely expected to make.”
Speaking of Oakley, The Dallas Morning News in recent weeks has repeatedly reported on its oh-so-cleverly-named “City Hall blog” that the former councilman is seriously considering a run for his old District 3 seat. Of course, we reported this months ago right here on Instant Tea. In any case, Oakley reportedly plans a fundraiser to gauge whether he’d have the necessary backing to take on Councilman Dave Neumann, who defeated openly gay candidate Joseph Hernandez f0r the seat Oakley gave up to run for mayor last year. Why do I get the sense that 2009 is going to be an interesting year in Dallas?
CORRECTION: Gay journalist Rex Wockner points out that San Diego, then the nation’s seventh-largest city, had an openly gay mayor in 2005. San Diego Councilwoman Toni Atkins was appointed to the position after the mayor resigned and the deputy mayor was convicted of multiple felonies. Atkins served until the next election. So, Adams is the first openly gay mayor to be ELECTED to represent a major U.S. city. Thanks, Rex.
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