thedesertsun.com | Oden ousts Kleindienst: Ron Oden, who has been a vocal opponent of the status quo, won a decisive victory over incumbent Will Kleindienst Tuesday in what some political observers say highlights frustrations in the business community. "Letís celebrate, Palm Springs," said Oden, grinning widely before a raucous crowd of about 300 dancing to "I Will Survive" at the Riviera Resort and Racquet Club in northwest Palm Springs.
Oden, who will become one of the countryís only openly gay, black mayors, has served on the City Council for eight years. He defeated the two-term Kleindienst with nearly 51.3 percent of the vote -- a margin of more than 840 votes.
Actually, I'd think he must be the only openly gay black mayor in the country. I mean, really, how many openly gay mayors are there, period? As far as I can tell (and it's a difficult topic to find anything useful on), there are very few. One in Wilton Manors, Florida (which has an gay majority on the city council, of all things ... what on earth?) and the mayor of Tempe, Arizona; a town in Maine has re-elected a lesbian as their mayor -- the articles notes that there are "only about a dozen openly gay mayors in the country". Ammiano lost his bid in San Francisco (... the Green Party? the Green Party actually has a candidate in a runoff? That's just peculiar, people.)
Ken Reeves was the mayor of Cambridge (Mass.) City Council from 1992-1995, so he does have the distinction of being first. That said, he was apparently very technically not openly gay when he was elected.Posted by iain at November 05, 2003 03:41 PM