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First Openly Gay Electors Cast Votes for Obama in Florida

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Today, electors around the country cast their votes to officially elect Barack Obama the 44th president of the United States:

"In all 50 states and the District of Columbia, the 538 electors performed a constitutional process to legally elect Democrat Barack Obama the 44th president. More than 131 million voters cast ballots _ the most ever in a presidential election. But Obama's election is not complete until Congress tallies the outcome of Monday's Electoral College vote at a joint session scheduled for Jan. 6. Monday's voting was largely ceremonial, the results preordained by Obama's Nov. 4 victory over Republican Sen. John McCain. Obama was to win 365 electoral votes, to 173 for McCain. With only Hawaii still to vote, all the electors had cast ballots in accordance with the popular votes in their states."

In Florida, Chip Arndt and Gena Keebler (above) were among 27 electors in that state to cast their votes at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. However, Arndt and Keebler are the first openly LGBT electors in the state's history. In August, the Tampa Bay Tribune reported that the state's electors were "the most ethnically and geographically diverse group Florida Democrats have ever had."

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  1. DC had an openly gay elector for Clinton's 1st term. Jeff Coudriet (sp?) I believe he was the first in the county.

    Posted by: HHHNova | Dec 15, 2008 9:08:22 PM


  2. Uh oh!! But the title says the first gays in FL not DC and we all know DC is not a real state, so technically they are the first from a state as well as the first from FL, but we shouldn't take anything away from Jeff Coudriet (sp) because he was the first in the US from a non state, but first none the less and well we know that Chip Arndt already won first place for the amazing race and got like $500,000 so I think we should give the prize to Jeff Coudriet (sp) because he probably never won anything with a $500,000 prize and he was first in the US which is more important than FL. Fwwwww, I think I got that right.

    Posted by: zeke | Dec 15, 2008 10:57:12 PM


  3. You're looking good, Chip. Keep it up.

    Posted by: Chris | Dec 15, 2008 11:10:43 PM


  4. Chip and Gena - thank you both for all you are doing/do - we are very proud of you both ::}}

    Posted by: Cate Colgan | Dec 16, 2008 12:22:35 AM


  5. At least Chip is doing something valuable with his life and using his minor celebrity status to support GLBT causes and influence political candidates unlike his ex-husband Reichen who seems more interested in supporting himself with gay causes, celebrity dating, and soft core acting.

    Posted by: Sean | Dec 16, 2008 11:39:03 AM


  6. At least Chip is doing something valuable with his life and using his minor celebrity status to support GLBT causes and influence political candidates unlike his ex-husband Reichen who seems more interested in supporting himself with gay causes, celebrity dating, and soft core acting.

    Posted by: Sean | Dec 16, 2008 11:39:52 AM


  7. Thanks for reporting this Andy. Love your site but a minor point, there is no Tampa Bay Tribune. The link takes you to TampaBay.com, the website of the St. Pete Times ( the more liberal paper in this area). There is also the Tampa Tribune, the more conservative paper. Keep up the good work!

    Posted by: William | Dec 16, 2008 1:04:16 PM


  8. California electoral college chose its first LGBT CHAIR yesterday.

    http://ca-ripple-effect.blogspot.com/2008/12/california-electoral-college-chooses.html

    Posted by: George | Dec 16, 2008 2:03:24 PM


  9. Chip's a friend, so I'm hardly objective, but the record speaks for itself. Every year he works harder and harder to help us achieve full equality, from not just earning his place as an out Elector and out delegate to the Democratic National Convention, but being president of the LGBT Dem group in Miami and a cofounder of the Gay American Heroes Foundation dedicated to help reduce LGBT hate crimes, not to mention his tireless work against AIDS.

    All this in an area which is STILL far behind DC where gay Dems established a political power base 30+ years ago. And without the national recognition that others doing far less get simply because they live in NYC, SF, or LA.

    But he'd be quick to point out that there are several others, such as Gena, working just as hard "uphill" in Florida.

    Posted by: Michael Bedwell | Dec 16, 2008 2:07:30 PM


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