Gay police captain would make history in Savannah City Council race

Add this share

Kurtis Purtee wants to bring LGBTQ representation to the Savannah City Council for the first time ever with a win in the November election. 

The out candidate for the District 6 seat is taking on Tony Thomas, the longest-serving councilmember with 20 years in office. Purtee (photo), a police captain for Georgia Southern University, nabbed an endorsement from Georgia Equality earlier this month.

“It makes me very happy because it goes along with the diversity and inclusion plan I have in tackling some of the LGBTQ issues,” he told Project Q Atlanta. “To me it’s a big deal, especially being a part of the LGBTQ community. I feel proud.”

Purtee said Thomas has no diversity and inclusion plan, and that an “older white population” is disproportionately represented in the district.

Purtee has been busy networking and meeting with constituents since launching his campaign in March. 

“It has been a task, it’s been a challenge and it’s been exciting,” he said.

The first-time candidate wants to retain and bring in new businesses, create a community center for youth and a senior center, and revitalize or redevelop a dying local mall if elected.

Purtee acknowledges the significance of getting the chance to be the Savannah City Council’s first openly LGBTQ member.

“It is important to me because it shows a trend that we’re more diverse than just a bunch of good old boys sitting up in that Gold Dome [at Savannah City Hall],” he said. “It shows we’re progressive and moving ahead in the city while still retaining some of the traditional things that Savannah is known for.”

The election for Savannah City Council is Nov. 5.

Two LGBTQ candidates have made unsuccessful runs for Savannah City Council in recent years. Pam Miller ran in 2011 and David Self lost by over 40 points to Thomas in 2015.

Photo courtesy Kurtis Purtee


Project Q Atlanta goes on hiatus after 14 years

On Sept. 1, 2008, Project Q Atlanta promised a hyper-local “queer media diet” for Atlanta. The site set out to bring LGBTQ news, in-depth...

Photos catch Purple Dress Run invading Midtown

After three years of pandemic-inflicted limitations, Atlanta’s gay rugby squad let loose on one of its most popular events. The Atlanta Bucks Purple Dress...

Ooo Bearracuda: Photos from Bear Pride’s Main Event

The seventh annual Atlanta Bear Pride hit the ground running on Friday with packed houses at Woofs, Heretic and Future. Turned out, they hadn’t...

Atlanta Bear Pride set to go hard and long all weekend

That low, growing growl you hear is a nation of gay bears headed for Atlanta Bear Pride this weekend. By the time they arrive,...

PHOTOS: Armorettes bring back Easter Drag Race magic

Gay Atlanta’s queens of do-good drag brought the sunshine to a cloudy afternoon on Saturday when Heretic hosted the triumphant return of Armorettes Easter...