Michael Sutphin was elected to the Blacksburg, Virginia city council on election day earlier this month. He's the first openly gay candidate to be elected in Virginia outside of the northern, D.C. area, the Roanoke Times reports:
Sutphin identified himself as gay during the election in an interview with Tech's student-run radio station WUVT, and listed on his campaign materials his service on the board of directors of the pro-gay rights group Equality Virginia.
But it didn't come up during his door-to-door campaigning. "I didn't campaign on sexual orientation," Sutphin said. "I campaigned on economic development, regional cooperation, neighborhood issues and … smart growth."
But, Sutphin said, diversity is important for representative government. He pointed to the fact that the Blacksburg council now has more women than men, including Krisha Chachra, whose family immigrated to the U.S. from India.
Sutphin has tweeted and posted to Facebook about the likelihood that he is the only openly gay candidate elected in the state outside of Northern Virginia, a status confirmed by Denis Dison of the Washington, D.C.-based Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund.
Blacksburg councilman says sexuality isn't an issue [roanoke times]