Although the races for mayor and the Dist. 2 commission seat weren’t won outright Tuesday, the city’s gay candidates came out as the night’s clear winners and strongly positioned to win in March.
Dist. 2 Commissioner Dean Trantalis won 46 percent of the vote in his bid to be the city’s first openly-gay mayor. Vice Mayor Bruce Roberts got 31 percent of the vote. Former commissioner Charlotte Rodstrom got 21.9 percent of the vote. Because Roberts and Trantalis failed to get 50 percent plus one of the vote, a runoff will be held between the two men on March 13.
In the race for Dist. 2, Steve Glassman, a gay man, won 34 percent of the vote compared to 25 percent for former commissioner Tim Smith. The two will also face off in the March 13 runoff.
Gay candidate George Castrataro, the other gay candidate, won 20 percent of the vote. Chad Maxey got 18 percent, and Lester Zalewski got 1 percent.
“I’m very excited for our community and our city. It shows people are really engaging in this process,” said Trantalis. Trantalis said Roberts should concede. “He’s 19 points away. I’m only three points away. If we get Charlotte’s votes, we’re in.” SFGN was unable to speak with Roberts by press time Tuesday night.
Many members of the LGBT community in attendance at Trantalis’ election night party, held at Thasos Greek Taverna, were optimistic about Trantalis’ chances since before the first returns were posted by the Broward Supervisor of Elections.
“When Dean announced his candidacy, right away we knew this would be a horizon race for the LGBT community. It’s a breath of fresh air. This is what we need,” said Joe Saunders, senior political director for Equality Florida.
“I think it’s amazing we have two candidates from the LGBT community in the race,” said Wilton Manors Commissioner Tom Green.
Dist. 3 candidate Robert McKinzie, who got 51 percent of the vote, and faced off against Donna Guthrie, and Marie Huntley, is the only candidate who won’t have to compete in a runoff.
Benjamin Sorensen, who got 42 percent, and Warren Sturman, who got 31 percent, will face off in the runoff for the Dist. 4 seat. Walter Duke III got 26 percent.