Openly gay Kleinschmidt is next Chapel Hill mayor

Mark Kleinschmidt becomes third openly gay man to hold mayoral office in North Carolina

by Matt Comer  Editor  editor@goqnotes.com
Published: November 3, 2009 in News

Mark Kleinschmidt in the 2009 N.C. Pride Parade in Durham.

Mark Kleinschmidt in the 2009 N.C. Pride Parade in Durham.

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — Mark Kleinschmidt emerged victorious in his campaign for mayor of Chapel Hill on Tuesday, with a 49.49 percent (4,006) to 46.53 percent (3,766) lead against chief opponent Matt Czajkowski with 21 of 21 precincts reporting.

Shortly after 9:00 p.m., Czajkowski conceded to Kleinschmidt.

A member of the Chapel Hill Town Council since 2001, Kleinschmidt will become the third openly gay man to hold mayoral office in the state, following Mike Nelson in Carrboro and Elic Senter in Frankinton.

Orange County reported a 16 percent voter turnout with a little over 11,700 ballots counted.

Kleinschmidt is a leading civil rights and LGBT advocate in the Tar Heel State. After serving as a staff attorney at the Center for Death Penalty Litigation in Durham, he was hired as executive director of the Fair Trial Initiative in October 2006. Kleinschmidt is former board president of North Carolina’s ACLU chapter and a former board member of Equality North Carolina.

Kleinschmidt was endorsed by current Chapel Hill mayor Kevin Foy. His campaign platform called for better public transportation, community development, centralized urban growth rather than sprawl and environmental protection.

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