The Agenda

Two African-American lesbians advance in Georgia race

No candidate got more than 50 percent of the vote in last night’s Democratic primary for a seat on the Fulton County Commission, and while a runoff election between the top two vote-getters isn’t unusual in Georgia, this one is.

Both of the runoff candidates are openly lesbian African-Americans.

Joan P. Garner (pictured) and Keisha Waites will compete for the District 6 seat, which represents portions of the central and eastern sections of Atlanta.  The Georgia Voice reported:

With 100 percent of precincts reporting, unofficial results from Fulton County showed Waites in first place with 41.45 percent and Garner in second with 39.50 percent. David Holder had 9.7 percent and Sally Smith had 9.35. Only 168 votes separated Waites and Garner.

If no candidate receives 50 percent plus one vote, the top two advance to a runoff on Aug. 10.

Garner was endorsed by three LGBT groups — Georgia Equality, the Atlanta Stonewall Democrats and the Victory Fund, a national organization that supports LGBT candidates.

Should either Garner or Waites win, she would be the first openly gay representative on the Fulton County Commission.

Garner, a longtime activist who worked for Mayor Maynard Jackson as senior adviser on gay and lesbian issues, is principal of Garner Results Inc., a nonprofit and philanthropic consulting firm.

Waites works for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and has a long record of seeking elected office.

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