Disappointing news to report from Falls Church, Virginia. Openly gay City Council Member Lawrence Webb lost his re-election bid to the Falls Church City Council. Webb won election in 2008, becoming Virginia's first Black openly gay elected official.
Webb finished in fifth place in the May 1 non-partisan election in which seven candidates competed for three seats, reports the Falls Church Times. Economic issues and an anti-incumbent sentiment apparently dominated the election. Two of the three council members elected "are members of the Economic Development Authority in a campaign season in which commercial development emerged as a key priority for voters and candidates alike," reported the Times.
Webb is a Democrat and is the assistant dean of admissions at the University of Mary Washington. He was appointed by former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner to the board of the Virginia Department of Correctional Education.
Lawrence Webb was elected in May 2008, less than three months after Connecticut State Rep. Jason Bartlett became the nation's first Black openly gay state legislator. The past four years have seen an explosion in the number of local and state Black LGBT elected officials. Atlanta has become a nexus for Black LGBT politics with three Black openly gay or lesbian state legislators—Simone Bell, Rashad Taylor and Keisha Waites—and Joan P. Garner, who in 2010 became the first openly LGBT official elected to the Fulton County Commission. Maryland and North Carolina also boast Black openly LGBT legislators Mary Washington and Marcus Brandon.
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