Gay candidates win big across North Carolina

Mayfield becomes first openly gay official in Charlotte, Kleinschmidt reelected to second term as Chapel Hill mayor

by Matt Comer  Editor
Published: November 9, 2011 in News

Originally published: Nov. 8, 2011, 9:37 p.m.
Updated: Nov. 9, 2011, 9 a.m.

CHARLOTTE — Gay and lesbian candidates across North Carolina sailed to victory in their races for local office on Tuesday.

Openly gay Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt will serve a second term.

In Charlotte, out lesbian LaWana Mayfield, a Democrat, won her race for the District 3 city council seat, soundly defeating Republican opponent Ed Toney 78 percent to 22 percent.

Openly gay Chapel Hill Mayor Mark Kleinschmidt won his reelection bid with 78 percent of the vote, beating challengers Tim Sookram and Kevin Wolff. Openly gay 22-year-old and recent University of North Carolina grad Lee Storrow won his race for a seat on the Chapel Hill Town Council. He garnered 15.78 percent of the vote, coming in third in a four-way race. Storrow is the youngest member to serve on the council in 20 years.

In nearby Carrboro, incumbent Alderwoman Lydia Lavelle was also victorious. She’ll serve another term on that town’s council, capturing 29.84 percent of the vote.

In Franklinton, openly gay Mayor Elic Senter was reelected to another term. He won his race 79 percent to 21 percent. Senter had no challenger on the ballot.

Greensboro’s Wayne Abraham, a founder of Triad Health Project and a former member and chair of the city’s human relations commission, lost his first-time election bid for an at-large seat. He garnered just 12 percent of the vote, coming in sixth in a race with seven candidates.