The Agenda

9 Primaries to Watch: May 8, 2018

Update, 10:30 p.m. EST:

Eight of our nine candidates have won their primaries tonight, with Elvin Montero’s race still undecided! A great night for LGBTQ candidates!

Update, 8:58 p.m. EST: 

Results are trickling in with all races too close to call. Follow along here:

Nickie Antonio: live results

Allison Dahle: live results

Reed Gusciora & Elvin Montero: live results

Mark Kleinschmidt: live results

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Today is the May 8 primary, and campaign season kicks off in earnest with key Senate contests that could decide which party stays in power. All eyes are on battles in four states where Trump won in 2016: North Carolina, Ohio, West Virginia, and Indiana, particularly the Republican Senate primaries in Indiana and West Virginia.

While increasing LGBTQ representation at the federal level is critical, it is our state and local legislators who will have the most impact on equality in the immediate future. LGBTQ Victory Fund is invested in 9 state and local primaries that will be decided today and will have enormous impact for LGBTQ representation and the community at large. Read about them below:


Nickie Antonio

Ohio State Senate, District 23

Nickie Antonio

Nickie made history in 2010 by becoming the first openly LGBTQ person ever elected in the 208-year history of the Ohio General Assembly and again when she was elected Minority Whip. Nickie is serving in her fourth elected term in the Ohio House of Representatives. She currently serves as the highest-ranking member of the Health and Joint Medicaid Oversight committees. A member of Finance & Appropriations, Rules & Reference and Joint Legislative Ethics Committees. She was the Joint lead sponsor for the historic Adoption Open Records law (SB23/HB61). Nickie has introduced an LGBTQ Fairness Act in each of her 4 terms amongst many pieces of legislation focused on improving the lives of all Ohioans. There have been no anti-LGBTQ bills passed on her watch. Nickie and her wife/partner of 23 years, Jean Kosmac, have 2 daughters.

Election Summary

Nickie faces fellow Democratic Rep. Martin Sweeney in today’s decisive primary election. Sweeney is the former President of the Cleveland City Council. He has been embattled by concerns of a sexual harassment settlement from 2007-08 that cost taxpayers just shy of $90,000 after legal fees. Sweeney also authored an amendment to Cleveland’s trans anti-discrimination ordinance exempting bathrooms and locker rooms. If elected, Nickie would be the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the Ohio State Senate. She is also a woman running against a man with a history of sexual harassment, and an LGBTQ person running against an opponent with a less-than-stellar record on LGBTQ rights. 

Poll Times

Polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM ET on Election Day and all vote-by-mail ballots must be postmarked by Election Day.

Election News/Reporting Sites
http://www.cleveland.com/election-results/index.ssf

 

Reed Gusciora
Mayor of Trenton, NJ 


Reed Gusciora
Reed Gusciora has represented the 15th District of the New Jersey General Assembly since 1996 and was the first openly LGBTQ person elected to the NJ state legislature. He is also a municipal prosecutor for Princeton, Lawrence, and Hopewell Boroughs, and a professor at the College of New Jersey.

Election Summary

Reed is running for this open seat against six other candidates: Alex Bethea, a sitting councilman, Darren Green, an employee of Trenton Housing Authority and unsuccessful candidate for council in 2014, Duncan Harrison, Jr., a sitting councilman, Annette Lartigue, a former councilwoman, and Paul Perez, a businessman who came in second in the last mayoral election, and Walker Worthy, a deputy county clerk. A run-off election will be triggered if no candidate reaches the 50%+1 threshold. The top two vote-getters will move on to the run-off election.

Poll Times

Polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM ET on Election Day 

Election News/Reporting Sites
http://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk-/elections/archived-election-results


Elvin Montero
Trenton, NJ City Council

Elvin MonteroSince 2004, Elvin has been the Director of Communications and Issues Management for the Chemistry Council of New Jersey (CCNJ). Elvin joined CCNJ after two years with the National Council of Alcoholism and Drug Dependence New Jersey (NCADD-NJ).  Elvin also helped start LGBTQ+ Trenton and was the founding vice chair of the Mercer County LGBT Democratic Caucus.  In Fall 2017, Elvin was recognized as a “Democratic Rising Star” by the Mercer County Democratic Committee, and in November 2016, Elvin was honored by the Trenton Democrats with the Unsung Hero Award.  Elvin currently serves as the recording secretary for the Trenton Democratic Committee, and is the Democratic Committeeman for Trenton’s East Ward, District 5.

Election Summary

Elvin is competing for three seats in a six-candidate race, with no incumbents running for re-election. Candidates must secure 1/6th of the vote plus one in order to avoid a runoff. Santiago Rodriguez is a retired former social worker in the area well-known among senior residents. Jerrell Blakely is a Campaign Organizer for the New Jersey Work Environment Council with a strong background in education. Rachel Cogsville-Lattimer is an Investigator for Child Protection and Permanancy with the State of New Jesery, and the 1st Vice President of the Trenton Council of Civic Associations. Former city councilmember Kathy McBridge is running for her former seat following an unsuccessful 2014 mayoral bid. Nathaniel McCray runs a senior center in the West Ward. 

Poll Times

Polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM ET on Election Day.

Election News/Reporting Sites
http://www.mercercounty.org/government/county-clerk-/elections/archived-election-results 


Mark Kleinschmidt
Orange County (NC) Superior Court Clerk
 

Mark Kleinschmidt

Mark Kleinschmidt has spent almost 30 years as a resident of Orange County, NC. An attorney in private practice, he has been a state-wide thought leader on criminal justice reform, access to the courts, and access to the ballot. Mark has served the Town of Chapel Hill, first as a Councilmember from 2001-2009, and as Mayor from 2009-2015. He’s a 1992 graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and spent five years in the classroom teaching Social Studies. He led the non-profit, the Fair Trial Initiative from 2006 to 2012 where he trained young lawyers to provide high-quality capital defense representation. Formerly a partner at Tin Fulton Walker & Owen, Mark now runs his own solo practice. From 2001-2003 Mark served on the board of Equality NC, and was a member of the board of the Int’l Network of Gay & Lesbian Officials. From 2003-2009 he was on the board of the NC ACLU serving as it’s President in 2008-2009. Mark lives in Chapel Hill with his partner, Matt DeBellis, and their dog Ellie.

Election Summary

This is expected to be a very competitive primary, with no general election opponent. Democratic incumbent James C. Stanford has served in this office for seventeen years. While he is universally described as not being anti-LGBTQ, his procedures as Clerk over the last several years have made life difficult for same-sex couples, particularly with regard to adoption. This is the main reason why Mark was recruited to run for this office. Additionally, while there is considerable work being done by the Orange County DA and judges to decriminalize poverty, Stanford’s lack of cooperation on the issue has led to some resentment. 

Poll Times

Polls are open from 6:30 AM to 7:30 PM ET on Election Day. 

Election News/Reporting Sites
http://www.orangecountync.gov/new_departments/board_of_elections/election_results_(various_formats).php

Allison Dahle
North Carolina House of Representatives, District 11

Allison Dahle

Allison has worked for the past 14 years as an office manager, bookkeeper, and administrative assistant for a law firm. She previously worked at The ARC of North Carolina and Columbus Industries on employment programs for disabled people.

Due to the context of this race, her victory will require mobilizing women in the district to vote against the incumbent. The campaign will run two introductory mailers on Alison, and two attack mailers on Rep. Hall’s recent controversies.

Democratic incumbent State Rep. Duane Hall was elected to this seat in 2012. The race became competitive on February 28th when NC Policy Watch reported that Rep. Hall was facing allegations of sexual misconduct by five women. The allegations against him include inappropriate and non-consentual kissing of a party official at a Democratic gala and of another woman at an Equality NC event, escalating the controversy in political circles. Gov. Ray Cooper and other Democratic Party officials have asked Rep. Hall to resign, but he refuses. Republicans Brennan Brooks and Shawn Hamilton are also running, but are highly unlikely to win in this solidly blue district. (Rep. Hall carried at least 60% of the vote in 2016 and 2014, and ran unopposed in 2012.)

Uncontested Primaries

Rick Neal, U.S. House of Representatives, OH-15
Cecil Brockman, North Carolina House of Representatives, District 60
Deb Butler, North Carolina House of Representatives, District 18
J.D. Ford, Indiana State Senate, District 29

 

2018