Seasoned gay political strategist Ken Britt – a force behind the wining campaigns of local gay elected officials – made it official on Wednesday: This time, he’s the one running for office.

The retired executive director of the Alston & Bird law firm joined elected officials, veterans of gay political campaigns and supporters at the Ansley Park home of Harry Harkins to launch his campaign for the District 56 seat. The location wasn’t picked by chance – two gay elected officials, Alex Wan and Joan Garner, opened their campaigns in the same place and went on to win their races. Britt (top photo) worked on both campaigns.

The love from gay supporters certainly didn’t hurt, either. Former Atlanta City Council President Cathy Woolard was on hand and helped to secure more than $13,000 in donations and pledges from supporters to boost the $60,000 Britt has already raised for the campaign. That cash has poured into the campaign as Britt only announced his intention to seek the open seat on April 18.

Britt is expected to face at least one other opponent, former state Rep. “Able” Mable Thomas, in the Democratic primary in July. The district is heavily Democratic, so the winner of the primary is expected to take the seat. Britt could become the fifth openly gay member of the state House.