Today the newly established city of South Fulton, Georgia holds its first ever mayoral race. One of the nine candidates vying for the seat is Rafer Johnson.
South Fulton was established as a city in a November 2016 referendum, becoming one of Georgia’s largest cities and the largest African American majority city ever established in the United States. If elected, Rafer would not only be the first mayor of South Fulton, but also the only LGBTQ mayor in Georgia.
Throughout the campaign, Rafer faced attacks based on his sexual orientation, with thousands of homophobic text messages, emails and flyers distributed across South Fulton. The ads featured a photo of him and his husband with the title “Husband and Husband” to detract attention away from Rafer’s focus on economic development. Despite little polling due to this being the city’s first election, Rafer is considered a frontrunner due to his involvement in the establishment of the city of South Fulton.
Yesterday we asked you to write messages of support for Rafer Johnson, and we received nearly 600 responses! Here are a few of our favorites:
“Your courage is what changes history.”
“Win or lose, you are a winner for standing up and running.”
“We shall overcome hate and bigotry because of brave individuals like you.”
“Thank you. You are a hero.”
“Thank you for standing up for what is good and right.”
“Your bravery is making the world a better place.”
“Thank you for being out and a leader. This is what our youth and community need to see.”
Rafer’s victory would be groundbreaking at a time when LGBTQ elected officials in state and local governments are more critical than ever. We need leaders like Rafer now more than ever to fight back against the onslaught of anti-LGBTQ legislation at the local, state and federal levels.