LGBTQ media react to local wins and a presidential nail-biter
by Joe Siegel
“Presidential election results too close to call.” That was the November 4 Washington Blade headline, encapsulating the nail-biter nature of the contest that lasted for almost a week.
“Biden as of the Blade’s print deadline was ahead of Trump in the popular vote by a 50.2 percent to 48.1 percent margin,” the Blade reported. “The president early Wednesday incorrectly declared himself the winner, even though millions of ballots from battleground states had yet to be counted.”
But Biden was projected the winner the following Saturday. The Blade then published its November 13 issue with a full front-page picture of Donald Trump, arms crossed, with the blood-red headline, “Loser.”
Biden was declared the winner after the major networks projected that he would win Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Gay News (PGN) took note: “Pennsylvania has been in Trump’s sights for weeks. He has made numerous campaign trips to the state in recent weeks, as has Biden. Trump also filed several lawsuits against the state in September and October attempting to curtail voting and acceptance of ballots. He is currently trying to stop the remaining uncounted ballots from being counted in the state.”
The Associated Press called Pennsylvania, which has 20 electoral votes, in favor of Biden on Saturday at 11:25 am. That gave him 284 votes in the Electoral College, more than the 270 threshold needed for him to win the presidency. It is expected that Biden will ultimately win 306 electoral votes.
Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Biden’s running mate, was also elected as vice president, making her the first woman, the first African American and the first South Asian elected as part of a presidential ticket.
The Los Angeles Blade reported on the President-elect’s victory speech: “Speaking from a platform constructed in front of the Chase Center on the Riverfront in his hometown of Wilmington, Biden gave an acceptance speech in which he stressed that, ‘This is the time to heal in America.’”
Local LGBTQ media also reported on results down the ballot.
The Washington Blade published a list of 33 LGBTQ candidates who won Advisory Neighborhood Commission seats in the District of Columbia.
“Twenty-four of the 47 LGBTQ candidates, most of whom are incumbent commissioners, ran unopposed. Among the 23 who ran in a contested race, 15 appear to have lost and eight have won.”
Among those who have lost their race was gay Republican activist and Trump supporter Isaac Smith, who was in third place in a four-candidate race for ANC 8A06 in the Anacostia neighborhood of Ward 8. Smith, who received news media coverage as a candidate appearing to be at odds with the solidly Democratic constituents in Ward 8, insisted he is a “loyal Ward 8 resident committed to fighting for local neighborhood issues.”
PGN also took note of successful LGBTQ candidates throughout the country.
Sarah McBride, for example, will become the first transgender state senator in the country after winning her race in Delaware. “We did it,” McBride said on Twitter. McBride previously made history in 2016 as the first trans person to speak at the Democratic National Convention.
In addition to electing its first trans state senator, Delaware residents also elected their first black lesbian state senator when Marie Pinkney won her election bid. Jessica Benham became the first LGBTQ woman elected to the Pennsylvania state legislature when she won her race for state representative. Benham is also the first openly autistic woman elected to the Pennsylvania legislature, PGN reported.
The Georgia Voice, based in Atlanta, was also watching its presidential ballot count closely. In the meantime, it announced the state was getting its first LGBTQ state senator: “Rev. Kim Jackson won her election last night, making history as Georgia’s first ever openly LGBTQ state senator. Jackson, who represents District 41, took home the victory in a landslide, winning 79 percent.”
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