Fort Lauderdale Elects First Openly-Gay Mayor in Landslide

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Photo by Michael d'Oliveira.

With 64 percent of the vote, Dean Trantalis became the first openly-gay mayor elected in Fort Lauderdale’s history.

“It was our time,” Trantalis told his supporters Tuesday night. He thanked the community for its support and said that the “really hard part [of governing] starts now.”

Trantalis, who represents Dist. 2 and also the city’s first openly-gay commissioner, defeated Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts.

“I haven’t seen anything like this in years,” said Ken Keechl, former Broward County mayor. “I think its one of the best things to happen . . . a rejection of the status quo.”

In a press release, Equality Florida touted Trantalis becoming the first openly-gay mayor of a major Florida city.

“As soon as Dean declared his candidacy we knew this would be a horizon race for our LGBTQ community. Equality Florida Action PAC members and supporters have showed up in force in this election. We’ve made tens of thousands of calls to pro-equality voters in the City of Ft. Lauderdale about the importance of voting in this election. We look forward to working with both Dean Trantalis and Steve Glassman as they continue the work to keep Ft. Lauderdale a beacon of inclusion in the South,” stated Equality Florida Senior Political Director Joe Saunders.

In the Dist. 2 race, the other LGBT candidate, Steve Glassman, beat former city commissioner Tim Smith 61 percent to 39. This marks the first time Fort Lauderdale will have two openly-gay elected officials serving at the same time.

On a video posted to his Facebook page, Glassman said he was “humbled” by the victory and thanked his supporters. “The results are great. I’m so appreciative of everybody’s vote. We’re going to work really hard to protect the integrity of each neighborhood.”

Michael Albetta, the regional director of the Florida LGBTA Democratic Caucus and president of Fort Lauderdale’s Lake Ridge Civic Association, said he now expects to see a lot of pro-LGBT ordinances passed in the city.

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