Gay candidate Bob Gibeling rallied with supporters on Wednesday as his race for the state House heats up just weeks ahead of the November election.
Gibeling would be the first openly gay man elected to the Georgia General Assembly. The former young Republican turned gay Democrat hopes to join a trio of lesbian lawmakers – state Reps. Karla Drenner, Simone Bell and Keisha Waites – at the Gold Dome next year.
He hasn't been shy about discussing LGBT issues on the campaign stump, and the long list of hosts for Wednesday's reception at Steel Restaurant in Midtown included several gay politicos and advocates. Gibeling announced his campaign last September. He's also been mentioned as among LGBT volunteers targeted by Michelle Nunn's U.S. Senate campaign.
Gibeling faces Republican Beth Beskin and Independent Bill Bozarth in the race for the District 54 seat, which includes portions of Buckhead and West Midtown. They hope to replace Rep. Ed Lindsey, who shunned re-election for an unsuccessful run for the U.S. House.
Overall, Gibeling's campaign has raised nearly $44,000, with $10,226 raised in the most recent reporting period that ended June 30. He has $33,748 on hand. Bozarth has raised $20,000 with $6,886 on hand.
But that fundraising is dwarfed by Beskin, who has collected $180,000. Even after a runoff last month, she has $64,512 on hand, according to the most recent finance report.