Last night, while most political onlookers were watching the race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in Indiana and North Carolina, a Virginia resident quietly made history as he became the state’s first openly gay African-American elected to public office.
In his first bid for elected office, Lawrence Webb won a seat on the Falls Church City Council by a margin of 39 votes. He joins two other candidates on the City Council: Nader Baroukh and Robin S. Gardner.
“I am grateful that the citizens of Falls Church have entrusted me with the responsibility to help guide the direction of our city’s future, and I thank them. I look forward to working with Council to make Falls Church an even better city than it is now,” Webb said.
“I also hope my election opens the door for others to get involved in public service. It doesn’t matter if you’re gay or black or both. What matters is your dedication to building a better community, and your willingness to work hard at it. I’m glad the people of Falls Church agree. I also want to thank the Victory Fund and its staff and donors. They were dedicated to this campaign from the beginning, and they worked very hard to help us win.”
Lawrence is currently the assistant dean of admissions at the University of Mary Washington. In his free time, Lawrence is an active member of the Falls Church City Democratic Committee, the City of Falls Church Parks and Recreation Commission and Equality Fairfax. Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner appointed Lawrence to the board of the Department of Correctional Education.
The Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund staff launched an intense get-out-the-vote initiative, bringing supporters out to the polls.
“While the presidential race is grabbing national headlines, openly gay candidates and elected officials are making great strides under the radar. Lawrence’s historic win is just one example of this,” said Chuck Wolfe, President and CEO of the Victory Fund. “I’m also extraordinarily proud of the work our team did in the field yesterday. They made calls until their cell phones went dead and, in the end, their work contributed directly to Lawrence’s close win.”
With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, the results were:
Nader Baroukh 1,226 18.77%
Robin S. Gardner 1,273 19.49%
E.B. “Ed” Hillegass 807 12.36%
M. R. “Lindy” Hockenberry 1,176 18.01%
Margaret W. Housen 590 9.03%
Patrice A. Lepczyk 231 3.53%
Lawrence L. Webb 1,215 18.60%
Write In 11 0.16%