Gainesville’s First Openly Gay Mayor Defeated Second Term Run

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Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, the city’s first openly gay mayor, lost his re-election bid Tuesday to former City Commissioner Ed Braddy.

Though Democrats outnumber Republicans by a two-to-one margin in Gainesville, the Republican Braddy defeated the Democrat Lowe by almost 10 percent of the vote. Lowe, who served on the city commission before his 42-vote victory to become mayor in 2010, released a statement thanking his supporters and congratulating Braddy, according to the Gainesville Sun.

Lowe’s runoff campaign was marred by a March 21st DUI arrest and the resulting controversy. Two days after he advanced to face Braddy in the runoff, Lowe was arrested on a charge of driving under the influence in the parking lot of a carwash in the middle of the night. His car was badly damaged.

While Lowe apologized in statements issued by his campaign, he did not answer questions about the arrest. Lowe entered a deferred prosecution agreement and a DUI Intervention Program available to first-time offenders who have no significant prior criminal or traffic history. Interestingly, Braddy had his own DUI arrest in 2006. Braddy will be sworn in on May 23.

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