For the first time in Florida’s history, a city has elected an all-LGBTQ City Commission.
Wilton Manors, which according to the city is the second gayest city in America, elected Justin Flippen, who is gay, Tuesday night as mayor.
Gary Resnick and Paul Rolli, who are also gay, won commission seats, joining Tom Green and Julie Carson, who are also part of the LGBTQ community. Longtime commissioner Scott Newton, who is straight, lost his bid for re-election.
“Wilton Manors is a city that really set the bar in terms of inclusion and LGBT equality,” said Stratton Pollitzer, deputy director of LGBTQ-rights group Equality Florida. “This is our community’s hometown and it’s exciting to see it setting this first in Florida.”
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Flippin, who according to his biography on the city website is a project manager with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention and Visitors Bureau, has been on the commission since 2008.
“As a product of our city and community, I am fully committed to uphold the highest standards and ready to take office next Tuesday during our city commission organizational meeting and swearing-in ceremony,” he wrote in an open letter to Wilton Manors shared on social media. ”However, right now I want to say, ‘Thank you,’ to each and every one of you — my fellow neighbors, friends, and colleagues — for the privilege and duty you have granted me to become your mayor.”
Pollitzer said Tuesday was a big day for the LGBTQ community with at least nine candidates being elected in Florida.
Among the victories: Teri Johnston was elected as mayor of Key West, becoming the first openly lesbian elected mayor in Florida.
“There were a lot of LGBT wins including a lot of shattered barriers,” he said.