Sunday, August 27, 2006

White Lesbian Nominee to represent a historically black Birmingham district in the state legislature

African American Political Pundit says: Well it appears a Washington, DC based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund had major impact on this Alabama Democratic primary. One of the challenges of gentrification across urban America is new residents move into historically black neighborhoods and decide that they can represent black neighborhoods better than blacks themselves (I'm not sure if this is true or not). I guess at this point, all the residents of this historically black Birmingham district can do is hope that she represents the interest of this historically African American community extremely well, otherwise she will be a one term legislator.

The Washington Post Reports the battle over race that had divided Alabama's Democratic Party came to an end yesterday when the party's executive committee reinstated a white woman as its nominee to represent a historically black Birmingham district in the state legislature.

The nominee, Patricia Todd, is a lesbian and, because she faces no opponent in November's general election, is in line to become the state's first gay legislator.

On Thursday, she had been disqualified by a party panel for failing to comply with a technicality that candidates had disregarded for years.

"I'm just relieved," Todd said yesterday. "The democratic process worked today."

Yesterday's decision has its roots in a June primary in which Todd received more votes than four other candidates, all of whom were black. In a July 18 runoff, she defeated businesswoman Gaynell Hendricks by 59 votes.

Allies of Hendricks then challenged Todd's nomination, arguing she had not met a deadline set in the party's bylaws for the filing of campaign finance disclosure forms.

The allies -- led by Hendricks's mother-in-law -- suggested that Todd missed the deadline intentionally, to delay disclosing that she'd made campaign payments to two primary opponents who later endorsed her and that she'd received thousands of dollars in contributions from the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington-based organization that backs gay candidates.

Among those opposed to Todd's candidacy was Joe L. Reed, the state party's vice chairman of minority affairs. He called on voters to elect another black person to replace George Perdue, who has represented the district for more than two decades. More >>>