Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai was re-elected to a fourth five-year term on Tuesday, beating gay challenger Nitzan Horowitz who earned 41 percent of the vote.
Horowitz was the first openly gay candidate for mayor of a Middle Eastern city.
Tel Aviv’s LGBT population has grown in recent years and is currently estimated at 20 percent of the city’s 400,000 people. That includes quite a bit of immigration from Russia where gays and lesbians have been under attack since Vladimir Putin returned to office.
Horowitz’s left-leaning Meretz Party doubled its representation on the city council after Tuesday’s vote, but Huldai won after campaigning on how much he’s done for the LGBT community in his 15 years in office.
Among his accomplishments was publicly funding a LGBT community center. And during his term, Tel Aviv was voted best gay destination in a survey conducted by GayCities.com and American Airlines.
Below is a gay tourism ad filmed on the gay beach in Tel Aviv: