Two Atlanta candidates get Victory Fund nod

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imageTwo gay candidates in metro Atlanta picked up endorsements from the Washington, D.C.-based Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund on Thursday.

Simone Bell (photo), a lesbian seeking the District 58 post in the state House, and Eric Morrow, a gay man running for the East Point City Council, were among eight new endorsements issued by the group. Bell and Morrow join three other gay candidates in metro Atlanta — Brian Bates (Doraville City Council), Adam Brackman (Atlanta City Council) and Kyle Williams (Decatur City Commission) — that also have the nod from the Victory Fund.

Bell, a community organizer, would become the first openly lesbian African American in the Georgia General Assembly, and join state Rep. Karla Drenner, a lesbian who became the legislature’s first openly gay member in 2001. Morrow would join Lance Rhodes as gay members of the East Point City Council.

Bell announced her campaign Aug. 14 and joins at least three other candidates — attorney Asha Jackson, businessman Kevin Johnson and political consultant Michael McPherson — in the race.

A Detroit native, Bell has lived in Atlanta for 20 years, graduated from Agnes Scott College in Decatur and brings an extensive background in community activism to the race. She’s worked on issues including workplace equality, access to affordable healthcare, fighting HIV/AIDS stigma and discrimination, safe schools for all children, youth empowerment, LGBT rights and equality and women’s issues.

In June, Bell received the first-ever Phillip Rush Community Builder Award from Georgia Equality for her work with the Atlanta Lesbian Health Initiative, Lambda Legal and the Black LGBT Coalition.

imageMorrow (photo), an attorney and Emory graduate, has been a prosecutor in DeKalb and Newton counties, and an associate city attorney in Atlanta. Currently, he’s a mayoral appointee to the city’s Ethics Board.

“I will work to attract smart growth and businesses that will help ease the tax burdens on individual residents,” Morrow says in a prepared statement. “We have a treasure of industrial and commercial space that goes unused. We must market our city treasures and I will work hard to make this happen.”

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