Tuesday night was a good night for LGBT elected officials. In addition to Charles Pugh's dramatic victory in Detroit, Mark Kleinschmidt's election as the mayor of Chapel Hill and Annise Parker's advance to the run-off for the mayor of Houston , history was also made in Brockton, Massachusetts. Jass Stewart becomes the first black and the first openly gay member of the city council in its 128 year history.
Brockton received 5,920 votes or about 15.6 percent of the total, reports the Enterprise. Stewart was a close fourth behind the three incumbents elected from a field of eight. He's ran twice before for mayor and lost. "In the 2007 election he was defeated by James Harrington, the current mayor, by just 700 votes," reports Bay Windows. "It was a hard-fought election involving gay smears and false allegations of Stewart’s educational credentials."
The 38-year-old Stewart is a social media and technology entrepreneur. Stewart and his partner Denzil Paul, a computer analyst originally from Trinidad, were married in 2004 when Massachusetts became the first state to recognize same-sex marriage.
Brockton is southeast of Boston and the area's black population is booming. It is also home to the nation's largest Cape Verdean population. Residents are excited about last night's election, which also ushered in the city's first female mayor. "History has been made," Brockton resident Joan Madden tells the Enterprise. “I’m so happy for Jass, he’ll really make a difference.”