The Nov. 2 general elections feature several openly gay and lesbian candidates for office. ( All of the candidates are in the Democratic party, with the exception of Wes Fowler, who is a Republican. )
Race: Cook County Commissioner ( 10th District )
Web site: "Wes Fowler for County Commissioner" on Facebook
The skinny: Wes Fowler is an anomaly in the world of Chicago politics: As a gay Republican operating on a very small budget, he faces an uphill battle against incumbent Bridget Gainer, who was appointed last year to fill the vacancy left by Mike Quigley, who's now a U.S. Rep. Fowlera clerk at a large law firm in the Loop as well as a member of the Chicago Gay Men's Chorusbelieves in same-sex marriage, but fancies himself socially conservative in the sense that he wants a family structure for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation.Read more story below....
Race: Illinois State Rep. ( 13th District )
Web site: GregHarris.org
The skinny: Harris, who is openly HIV-positive as well as being openly gay, has represented his district ( which includes Uptown, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, North Center and Bowmanville ) since being elected in 2006. Although his name has appeared most prominently in LGBT publications in connection with the issue of marriage equality ( introducing a civil-marriage bill ) , he is intimately involved with a host of other issues, such as the state budget, foreclosure mediation, children of incarcerated parents and insurance reform. He is currently running unopposed.
Race: Illinois State Representative ( 40th District )
Web site: DebMell.org
The skinny: Deb Mell started her first term making history as the first open lesbian in the Illinois General Assemblyand then did something historic in being the only representative to vote against impeachment of then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich, her brother-in-law. ( She told Windy City Times, "The day I made that vote, the Rod I knew and the Rod they were talking about didn't match up," adding that people told her afterwards that they were happy she voted that way. ) A staunch advocate for marriage equality, Mell is running unopposed after defeating Joe Laiacona in a contentious primary earlier this year.
Race: Illinois State Representative ( 99th District )
Web site: KentDeLay.com
The skinny: This son of a retired state engineer is a survivor of two car accidents that have left him partially disabled. In addition, the candidatewho is running to represent Springfieldis a father of two children.
Race: Illinois State Representative ( 47th District )
Web site: VoteMueller.org
The skinny: Green Party candidate Mueller, 63, resides in Westmont and is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Chicago. Back in 1997, Mueller and his lawyer, Fred Wellisch ( now a DePaul University professor ) , argued that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, leading to the filing of three U.S. Supreme Court petitions regarding LGBT families in 1999, 2001 and 2002; Ted Olson ( now representing plaintiffs in the current Prop 8 case in California ) was on the other side as solicitor general when the 2001 and 2002 petitions were signed.
Race: 16th Circuit Court, Kane, "A" vacancy
Web site: JohnDaltonForJudge.com
The skinny: Daltonwho would be the first openly gay judge elected outside of Cook County if he prevailshas been an arbitration chairman for more than a decade and an attorney for more than 22 years. Dalton plans to fund his campaign without accepting donations from attorneysa rare position among Illinois judicial candidates. Also, Dalton is an active member of Elgin's First Congregational Church, United Church of Christ.
Race: Sangamon County Board
Web site: ChrisBoyster.com
The skinny: Boyster, 36, is running for the board of a county that was established in 1821 and that encompasses townships such as Springfield, Clear Lake, Talkington and Lanesville. If he wins, he will be the first-ever openly gay member on the board.
ALSO IN THIS SPECIAL SECTION:
ELECTIONS '10: Windy City Times' General Election Guide www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29128
ELECTION: Guide to the gays - The Nov. 2 general elections feature several openly gay and lesbian candidates for office. www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29129
ELECTIONS '10: printable charts - Windy City Times' General Election Issue includes interviews and printable charts www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29130
ELECTIONS '10: LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR Sheila Simon on her office and equality www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29131
ELECTIONS '10: GOVERNOR Scott Lee Cohen on LGBTs, comeback www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29133
ELECTIONS '10: Readers weigh in through letters www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29134
ELECTIONS '10: VIEWS Bill Brady http:// www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29140
ELECTIONS '10: VIEWS Don't tread on LGBT voters? www.windycitymediagroup.com/gay/lesbian/news/ARTICLE.php?AID=29141