Providence gay mayor claims victory in Democratic primary for Congress

Cicilline, left, and Wolfe (Image: Victory Fund)

Cicilline, left, and Wolfe (Image: Victory Fund)

Cicilline, left, and Wolfe (Image: Victory Fund)

David Cicilline, the openly gay mayor of Providence, won the Democratic nomination in Tuesday’s Rhode Island congressional race. He’s vying to replace Rep. Patrick Kennedy (D-R.I.), to represent the state’s 1st Congressional District.

If victorious in November general election, Cicilline would become the fourth openly gay member of Congress. He will face Republican state Rep. John Loughlin, the House minority whip, on Nov. 2.

Cicilline captured 36% of the vote in a four-way race for the nomination, beating former party Chair Bill Lynch (23%), former Gem Plumbing President Anthony Gemma (22%) and state Rep. David Segal (19%).

Cicilline was endorsed by the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund, which supports openly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender candidates for public office.

Victory Fund president and CEO Chuck Wolfe hailed the win as genuine progress for LGBT Americans. [Gay Politics]

“Adding more authentic LGBT voices to Congress is a Victory Fund priority, and Mayor Cicilline’s win tonight puts us one giant step closer to doing just that. When he wins this November, he will join Tammy Baldwin, Barney Frank and Jared Polis as the only openly gay and lesbian members of Congress—our greatest champions for real change and real progress toward full equality. We’re proud to have supported Mayor Cicilline throughout his political career, and thrilled about this historic victory,” Wolfe said.

Cicilline has spent two terms as mayor of Providence. He entered the congressional race in February, two days after Kennedy announced he would not seek a ninth term.

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