LGBT supporters rallied around Kyle Williams on Thursday as the gay attorney continued to raise cash for an expensive Democratic Senate primary that has him pitted against a gay-friendly former state lawmaker.

Williams was feted during a reception at 10th & Piedmont in Midtown by scores of LGBT politicos and current and former elected officials. The list included state Rep. Simone Bell, Decatur Mayor Pro Tem Kecia Cunnigham, former Doraville City Council member Brian Bates and former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard.

Williams faces state Rep. Elena Parent in the May 20 primary for the District 42 seat. He would become Georgia's first openly gay state senator. Parent is backed by state Rep. Karla Drenner, the state's first openly gay lawmaker. Georgia Equality endorsed Williams, as did Georgia Stonewall Democrats.

District 42 has a reputation for supporting progressive causes, and it requires a state senator who knows the district and its unique neighborhoods well. Kyle has deep connections to the district, and has been a visible and active presence locally pushing a variety of progressive causes, including LGBT rights. We believe the moment has met the candidate, and that Kyle’s leadership and activism will serve the voters of district 42 well in the state senate. He is a tenacious advocate who works well with others, and these traits will make him an effective senator and voice for a new generation of progressive Georgians.

The race is growing increasingly contentious and expensive. Both candidates have raised a total of $317,000. The winner of the primary will face Republican insurance executive Greg Williams in the Nov. 4 general election.