LGBT candidates see victories at polls
by Jen Colletta
May 21, 2009 | 1934 views | 0 0 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print
<b>WINNER!:</b> Common Pleas Court Judge Dan Anders (center, with microphone) delivers his victory speech at Woody’s after the May 19 Municipal Primary. Anders, surrounded by his partner Anh Dang (left) and family members, was the fifth-highest vote-getter out of the more-than 20 contenders seeking the seven open seats. Gov.  Rendell appointed Anders to the bench in 2007, making him the first openly gay male judge in the state. Photo: Scott A. Drake
WINNER!: Common Pleas Court Judge Dan Anders (center, with microphone) delivers his victory speech at Woody’s after the May 19 Municipal Primary. Anders, surrounded by his partner Anh Dang (left) and family members, was the fifth-highest vote-getter out of the more-than 20 contenders seeking the seven open seats. Gov. Rendell appointed Anders to the bench in 2007, making him the first openly gay male judge in the state. Photo: Scott A. Drake
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This week’s Municipal Primary Election saw victories for the two openly LGBT candidates vying for judgeships.

Common Pleas Court Judge Dan Anders, who became the first openly gay male on the bench in Pennsylvania when Gov. Rendell appointed him to fill a vacancy in 2007, captured about 7 percent of the vote — the fifth-highest among the nearly two-dozen candidates who were vying for one of the seven 10-year terms.

Open lesbian Dawn Segal also came out on top in the Municipal Court race, receiving the third-highest number of votes out of the 10 contenders seeking one of the four open seats, with about 14 percent of the vote.

Anders, who said Wednesday that he was “tired, relieved and exhausted but thrilled,” noted that his and Segal’s nominations prove that the city is “moving forward.”

“All of our hard work paid off,” Anders said. “I credit my victory to all of my volunteers, supporters and contributors. People really believed it was important to come out and vote for someone they thought was first going to be a good judge and second could add diversity on the bench.”

In Harrisburg, openly gay City Councilman Dan Miller was nominated for City Controller. Miller ran unopposed after incumbent James McCarthy was disqualified for missing a filing deadline.

In other local races, former City Inspector General Seth Williams won the Democratic nomination for District Attorney, defeating four other contenders. Williams will face Republican candidate Michael Untermeyer in November’s election.

Incumbent City Controller Alan Butkovitz (D) was also victorious by a wide margin and will face Republican Al Schmidt in the general election.

Both PGN and Liberty City Democratic Club endorsed Williams and Butkovitz.

In judicial races, Democrat Jack Panella, who was running unopposed, was nominated for the state Supreme Court, while Robert Colville, Kevin McCarthy and Anne Lazarus were nominated for State Superior Court on the Democratic ticket. Barbara Ernsberger and Linda Judson were the top Democratic vote-getters in the Commonwealth Court race.

The other nominated Democratic Common Pleas Court judges are Robert Coleman, Angeles Roca, Donna Woelpper, Diane Thompson, Adam Beloff and Roxanne Covington. Municipal Court nominees include Charles Hayden, Joseph Waters and Pat Dugan.

Jen Colletta can be reached at jen@epgn.com.

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