Simone Bell, the first African-American out lesbian to serve in a U.S. State House, handily won her Democratic primary for Georgia State House District 58 last night. She faced off against fellow Democratic incumbent Ralph Long in a tight race after Republican redistricting drew them into the same district. Bell is heavily favored to beat Republican Earl Cooper in November’s general election.
Keisha Waites, who took office earlier this year following a special election, emerged victorious in her decisive primary and will serve her first full term representing House District 60. Georgia’s first out state legislator, Karla Drenner, faced no challenger for House District 86 and will once again join Bell and Waites in the Georgia state legislature.
Georgia State Rep. Rashad Taylor lost his reelection bid in a tough race after Republican redistricting pitted him against fellow Democratic incumbent Pat Gardner. Taylor came out as gay while serving in the Georgia House last year.
Elsewhere in Georgia, out lesbian Jane Morrison was elected to the Fulton County State Court. She will be one of the first out judges in Georgia and the Southeast. Morrison’s partner, Joan Garner, is also an out elected official, serving as Fulton County Commissioner.