An update to the story of Delano Hunter, the National Organization for Marriage-backed candidate for Washington D,C. council who mailed gay-baiting flyers to constituents slamming incumbent Harry Thomas Jr's support D.C.'s marriage equality bill. Hunter opposed the marriage equality bill and has asked for a voter referendum. The Ward 5 race was the only NOM-backed local election across the country.
Thomas "easily won re-election on Tuesday night, securing more than 65 percent of the vote in a four-way race," reports MetroWeekly. "The NOM-backed Delano Hunter – received just 826 votes, or a little more than 17 percent of the votes cast in the race."
Thomas represents Ward 5 in Northeast D.C., which – as he described it to Metro Weekly at his campaign headquarters during a victory party on Tuesday night – has ''a large African-American population, a large Catholic community, a large Baptist and religious community." Referring to NOM's perceptions of his ward, Thomas said, ''People automatically assumed they would be so adamantly against someone's rights.''Thomas, though, said that he made no such assumptions.''I was … very confident that I could vote my conscience and my honesty and not even try and take anything into account except for the fact that what's right for people, for fairness,'' he said.
Hunter's mailer read: "Thousands of dollars from homosexual activists outside Ward 5 are attacking Delano Hunter because he supports our right to vote on whether the District legalizes 'gay marriage'" and it illustrates a river of cash flowing from New York City and San Francisco into the Ward 5.
Hunter received the surprise endorsement of the Washington Post, which minimized his connection to NOM and said the challenger was "not such a homophobe."
The District of Columbia's marriage equality bill passed in December 2010 on a 11-2 vote. In yesterday's primary, all seven of the seven of the councilmembers who voted for the bill or sought higher office were re-elected. City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, who also supported the bill, won the Democratic nomination for mayor.
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