Wednesday, March 17, 2004

"Can an African-American dyke win in the South?"

Kecia Cunningham understands labels. With her election in 1999 to the Decatur City Commission, she became the state�s first openly gay African-American elected official.
Cunningham, who coasted to a second term in 2003 without facing a challenger, also knows the importance of building a campaign war chest.
She�ll put both lessons to the test in the coming months, as she fights to take on a new political label in what will be the riskiest and costliest campaign of her political career.
Cunningham announced Sunday that she will resign her Decatur post in an effort to become the nation�s first openly gay African-American state lawmaker by seeking the District 58 seat in the Georgia General Assembly. The House seat, being vacated by Democrat Barbara Mobley, encompasses Winona Park, Columbia Drive and Rainbow Drive in DeKalb County.
"Can an African-American dyke win in the South? Guess what? You can," Cunningham said during her announcement Sunday at a fund-raising brunch in Midtown for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, a Washington, D.C.-based group that works to elect openly gay public officials.