Thursday, June 14, 2012

(UPDATED) Black, Lesbian, Veteran, Pastor Wins NV Primary

Patricia Spearman has (and has had) lots of titles: Minister, Military Policeman, Veteran, Black Lesbian. But after, Nevada's Primary Election on Tuesday, she will soon have another: State Senator. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Progressive Democrat Patricia Spearman scored an upset victory Tuesday over two-term incumbent state Sen. John Lee in the Senate District 1 primary.
Backed by liberal-leaning groups, Spearman, who is black, gay and an evangelist minister, had attacked Lee for being too moderate and not doing enough to help constituents. She picked up 63 percent of the vote, compared with 37 percent for Lee, a 15-year legislator.
"This was a victory for the people," said Spearman, who is expected to win the Democrat-dominated district in North Las Vegas in November. "I am so humbled by the people's response and the confidence they placed in me. I commend my opponent for a spirited campaign and wish him the best in his future."
Spearman became the first openly lesbian person elected to state office in Nevada, and one of the very few openly LGBT and African-American people elected to a state legislative seat in United States' history! She would be the 4th openly lesbian, Black legislator to be serving, after Mary Washington in Maryland and Simone Bell and Keisha Waites in Georgia. Marcus Randall of North Carolina, Rashad Taylor of Georgia and Gordon Fox of Rhode Island are the only openly gay Black men currently serving in state legislatures.

hat/tip to Rod 2.0

UPDATED 06/14/2012 08:01

Daily Kos Elections points me to some more information about Spearman's astonishing win: She was out-raised by a 15:1 ratio and her opponent had the endorsement of Nevada's top Democrat, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. The Las Vegas Sun reports:

Democratic state Sen. John Lee was defeated in a stunning upset Tuesday by political newcomer Patricia Spearman despite having a huge money advantage and the backing of the Democratic establishment.
With about 90 percent of the precincts reporting in Senate District 1, Spearman, a gay minister, had more than 60 percent of the vote to top the incumbent from North Las Vegas,
Lee raised more than $200,000 for his re-election bid, dwarfing Spearman's estimated $13,000 fund-raising take.
But he was targeted by environmentalists and conservationists upset over Lee's sponsorship of 2011 bill that paved the way for Nevada to withdraw from a partnership with California that governs development and environmental regulations at Lake Tahoe.
Lee, who has served in the Senate since 2004, also ran afoul of the more liberal members of the Democratic Party for opposing a 2009 domestic partnership law that extended rights to cohabitating gay and heterosexual couples. Lee also opposed a failed Democratic plan last year to raise taxes.
Wow, what a piece of work: an anti-gay, anti-environment, anti-tax corporate Democrat gets taken out by a progressive, openly gay female minister! LOVE THIS!

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