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Judge Lisa Porter, Lesbian Jurist, Retains Seat; Keechl Wins Too

A former Assistant Attorney General and State Attorney for Broward County, the The Honorable Lisa Porter, a Broward County Circuit Court Judge, appears headed to a judicial election victory this evening, trouncing her opponent, challenger Laura Seidman, with 70% of the vote, after 65% of the precincts are reporting. A swing this large suggests Judge Porter will retain her lead and SFGN predicts her victory.

Broward County’s gay mayor, Ken Keechl, also faced a primary challenge, but it came from an inveterate Republican, often candidates for office, radio host Bev Kennedy. Never facing a serious threat, Keechl ran hard anyway and prevailed by over a 2 to 1 margin. 

Things may be tougher for Congressional candidate Scott Galvin, an openly gay man running in a predominantly Haitian district, where he is running fifth in the race with over half the precincts reporting. Galvin is unlikely to make the runoff, if there is one at all. Frederika Wilson is running away with the race with over 25% of the vote, to Rudy Moise’s 20%. Galvin is not at double digits. 

Justin Flippen, the popular Vice Mayor of Wilton Manors, appears to have been defeated by Incumbent Gwendolyn-Clark Reed, by a margin of 56% to 44%. The 99% vote for Reed in African American districts appeared to deal a knockout blow to Flippen’s fiery challenge, down by a 1,000 votes. Those precincts alone gave Reed a 1106-53 numerical edge, and the gay districts in the Manors don’t appear that they can overcome the deficit. It is the only thing though that can save the Flippen challenge. 

Kevin Burns, a former North Miami councilman, who was featured when he won the seat in the, back in 2003, launched his campaign against the veteran Gwen Margolis, seeking to become the state’s first openly gay state senator. He was beaten badly, however, unable to overcome the Margolis recognition. She beat him with two thirds of the vote. 

In the judicial primaries where minority candidates were challenged, the African American and Hispanic incumbents, Elijah Williams, Mary Rudd Robinson, Carlos Rodriguez, and Kenneth Gillespie have all prevailed and will retain their judicial robes. The race for Judge Carlos Rebollo is just too close to call. 

Chief Assistant Public Defenders Mindy Solomon and Sandra Perlman appear to have won their candidacies by a comfortable margin, and will bring significant grace and dignity to the bench, as will the re-election of Susan Lebow. All three have been tremendously supportive of the LGBT community.