With 75 percent of precincts reporting, Taylor has 42.98 percent of the vote for House District 57, compared to 57.02 percent for Gardner, according to unofficial results from the Georgia Secretary of State's office. Shortly before 11:30PM, Taylor posted on his Twitter account that he had spoken to Gardner to offer his congratulations.
The two Democratic incumbents were forced to face off due to new district maps created by the Republian-controlled legislature after the 2010 Census. Because there is no Republican candidate, today's Democratic primary effectively decides the race.
Georgia Equality, the state's largest LGBT political group, has not endorsed in this race. The gay Atlanta Stonewall Democrats endorsed Gardner. The Victory Fund, which only considers openly gay candidates, endorsed Taylor.
Taylor became the first openly gay man serving in the state's legislature after he was outed in May 2011. The ex-boyfriend of current partner sent dozens of emails to legislators and statehouse staff, accusing him of misusing his office and trading jobs for sex. Taylor denied the claims.
Taylor is the youngest member of the Georgia General Assembly. The political strategist and Morehouse College graduate turned 30 years old last year.
Rashad Taylor became one of only a handful of Black openly LGBT state lawmakers. Connecticut's Jason Bartlett was the very first and served from 2007 to 2011. Rhode Island House Speaker Gordon Fox and North Carolina's Marcus Brandon are the two Black gay male legislators currently serving.
Three of the four openly gay or lesbian state legislators serving in Atlanta are Black: Taylor, Simone Bell and Keisha Waites. Bell and Waites won their respective primaries last night. The openly lesbian Rep. Karla Drenner ran unopposed in her primary.
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