Gainesville voters elected Craig Lowe, openly gay Commissioner, to the mayoral post despite efforts of anti-gay extremists. Lowe was elected mayor with a margin of only 35 votes. This margin of less than 1% requires a recount under Florida law.
Nadine Smith, of Equality Florida, released the following statement:
Moments ago, Craig Lowe was elected Mayor of Gainesville and became the first ever gay mayor of a North Florida city.
Equality Florida Action PAC supporters contributed thousands of dollars and months of volunteer hours to help ensure victory. In a race decided by a razor thin margin our volunteers, donors and staff members were on the ground in Gainesville fighting every step of the way.
Alachua County election law requires an automatic recount in elections decided by less than 0.5%. We'll monitor the process and keep you updated.
In the weeks leading up to today's election, anti-gay extremists used homophobic rhetoric and smear tactics to try to keep Craig from winning. A local church even posted a "No Homo Mayor" billboard on their front lawn.
Craig Lowe sent a special thanks to the entire Equality Team for helping make this victory possible:
"I would like to thank Equality Florida Action PAC for their tremendous help in my race. Not only did they endorse my candidacy early on, they also served as a watchdog against the lies about my campaign and put people on the ground to help get our message out to voters." - Mayor Elect Craig Lowe
Craig Lowe was the most qualified candidate in this race. His record as a Gainesville City Commissioner brought him the endorsements of Equality Florida Action PAC, the Gainesville Professional Firefighters' Association, the African American Coalition for Political Action, the influential Alligator Newspaper and the North Florida Human Rights Council, among others.
We will continue to spotlight critical races where your investment can make all the difference. Your contribution makes our work possible.