Florida city elects full LGBT government for the first time
Wilton Manors, a Florida city, has elected a fully LGBT+ government for the first time in the Sunshine State’s history.
Openly gay man Justin Flippen, who has been serving on the commission since 2008, was elected Mayor of Wilton Manors on Tuesday. Two other gay men, outgoing mayor Gary Resnick and newcomer Paul Rolli, won commission seats.
They joined LGBT+ local lawmakers Tom Green and Julie Carson, who are already serving their terms as commissioners. Commissioner Scott Newton, who is straight, lost his bid for re-election.
“Victory of, for, and by the People!” Flippen wrote on Twitter commenting on the result of the vote, sharing a picture of him and his supporters.
Wilton Manors has been a progressive place to live, work and play for many years.
In a more extensive response to his election, Flippen thanked all the people who voted for him.
“The journey to victory has been by way of our neighborhoods, walking door to door, listening, and discussing the issues we face and the solutions we can and will achieve with the right leadership in city hall,” he wrote.
“Tonight’s victory would not be possible without the support of loved ones, family, and friends who have invested time and talent in my candidacy and the community support from so many who, like me, are proud to call Wilton Manors home.”
Wilton Manors is America’s second gayest city
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Wilton Manors, which has 11,632 residents and is considered to be part of Miami’s metropolitan area, is proud of its LGBT-friendly reputation.
According to data from the 2010 US Census, Wilton Manors is the “second gayest city” in the country, a title prominently featured on the city’s official website, which also reads: “With a large percentage of the population identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender Wilton Manors has been a progressive place to live, work and play for many years.”
“Wilton Manors is a city that really set the bar in terms of inclusion and LGBT equality,” said Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of LGBTQ-rights group Equality Florida, quoted in The Miami Herald. “This is our community’s hometown and it’s exciting to see it setting this first in Florida.”
Flippen was not the only openly LGBT candidate in Florida to be elected mayor on Tuesday. Key West became the first city in Florida to elect an openly lesbian mayor, Teri Johnston—who was also the second woman ever to hold the office of mayor in Key West, according to The Hill.
And in another first for LGBT people in the Sunshine State, openly gay attorney Nicole Menz became the first female Indian River County judge.