Record number of gay candidates on ballot

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From town councils to statehouses to Congress, a record number of LGBT candidates are running for office today. Nearly 90 of them have been endorsed by the Victory Fund, a gay advocacy group that helps LGBT candidates win election.

In Colorado, Jared Polis (D) is seeking to become the third openly gay member of Congress.

Polis, a 33-year-old entrepreneur who made millions creating Internet-based businesses, is the Democratic nominee and overwhelming favorite in the 2nd District, encompassing his hometown of Boulder.

If he wins, he would be the first openly gay man to win a seat in Congress as a non-incumbent. There have been at least five other gays and lesbians in Congress, including currently serving Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), but only Baldwin was open about her sexuality when first elected.

Frank and Baldwin also are expected to have little difficulty today winning re-election.

While Polis, Frank and Baldwin are all heavy favorites, another congressional candidate endorsed by the Victory Fund, Democrat Linda Ketner, is an underdog in her race in South Carolina’s 1st District, which includes Charleston and other coastal communities. She is running against four-term Republican incumbent Henry Brown.

In Oregon, state Sen. Kate Brown, who describes herself as bisexual, is the Democratic candidate for secretary of state. That’s the No. 2 job in Oregon, which has no lieutenant governor.

In one of the most conservative states, Democrat Jim Roth is seeking election to the three-member Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which oversees energy, transportation and utilities. In 2002, Roth became the first openly gay man to win any elected office in Oklahoma – a county government post.

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