Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Politics: Lesbian Wins NoCal Senate Seat

Cathleen Gagliani won a hotly contested State Senate race to
give Democrats 29 votes and the LGBT caucus an 8th member

Cathleen Galgiani made news last year when she came out of the closet to become the 8th member of the California LGBT Legislative Caucus. At that time she came out she was an Assemblymember representing the 17th District in Northern California, in the Republican-leaning sections of Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. Galgiani decided to run for the 5th Senate District this year in another conservative district against Republican assemblyman Bob Berryhill and was trailing when votes were tallied on election day.

However, it looks like she has won the tightly contested race when absentee and provisional votes were counted:
After trailing since Election Day, Democrat Cathleen Galgiani overtook Bill Berryhill by more than 2,100 votes Wednesday night, assuring her of victory in their hotly contested 5th Senate District race. 
Thomas Lawson, Galgiani's campaign manager, said the trend is clear and that her victory will make Thanksgiving Day even sweeter. 
Berryhill's campaign consultant, Duane Dichiara, stopped short of conceding defeat but admitted, "It's a tough row to hoe" now. 
Galgiani inched ahead of her Republican opponent on the strength of her showing in San Joaquin County.She started Wednesday about 1,500 votes behind and now leads by 2,111 votes.

Read more here:
If Galgiani's win is confirmed it will mean that Democrats will have 29 seats in the 40-member Senate, 2 more than the two-thirds super-majority needed to place constitutional amendments directly on the ballot and pass new taxes. Astonishingly, Democrats will also have a super-majority in the Assembly, and openly gay Speaker John Pérez will lead the largest Democratic caucus in a century, with at least 54 members in the 80-member lower house.

There is also good news for the California LGBT Legislative Caucus, which will maintain its status as the nation's largest, with 8 members (tied with Maryland).

The openly LGBT members of the California legislature from 2012-2014 will be:
John A. Pérez (Assembly District 53) 
Toni Atkins (Assembly District 78) 
Richard Gordon (Assembly District 24) 
Tom Ammiano (Assembly District 17) 
Susan Eggman* (Assembly District 13) 
Ricardo Lara* (Senate District 33) 
Cathleen Galgiani* (Senate District 5) 
Mark Leno (Senate District 11)
California would have had a record NINE openly LGBT members if my friend Luis Lopez had won his intra-party race against Jimmie Gomez in my Assembly District (the 51st in Los Angeles), but unfortunately that did not happen.

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