FLORIDA: Fort Lauderdale Elects Openly Gay Mayor

The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports:

Get used to the name Mayor Trantalis. Fort Lauderdale voters on Tuesday gave a clear victory to attorney Dean Trantalis, 64, to take over where Mayor Jack Seiler leaves off. Bruce Roberts, the city’s former police chief, trailed far behind Trantalis, with about 35 percent of the vote.

Trantalis will be the city’s first openly gay mayor, following mayors who at times clashed with LGBT groups and residents. Mayor Seiler generally enjoyed a good relationship with the LGBT community, but he faced heat in 2014 when he voted against a symbolic resolution supporting gay marriage and last year when he participated in a prayer breakfast featuring a group that’s known for anti-gay rhetoric. Mayor Jim Naugle before him was pilloried as a “homophobe” for his numerous comments offending gay people.

The LGBT group Equality Florida campaigned for Trantalis. The group said Trantalis is the “first gay mayor of a major Florida city.” Mayoral candidate Roberts hinted at the issue in campaign ads, saying “Washington-based groups with hidden agendas” supported Trantalis. Roberts was criticized for ads that depicted Trantalis as a puppet with lipstick and rouge, but Roberts said it wasn’t intended as gay mockery.