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Lesbian Mayor E. Denise Simmons Joins Senate Race

Lesbian Mayor E. Denise Simmons Joins Senate Race

The first openly lesbian African-American mayor in the country has declared her candidacy in the state senate race. The former mayor of Cambridge, Mass., E. Denise Simmons will face fellow City Councillor Marjorie C. Decker and six other Democrats in a primary on April 13. 

The first openly lesbian African-American mayor in the country has declared her candidacy in the state senate race, reports the Advocate.

The former mayor of Cambridge, Mass., E. Denise Simmons, was appointed by her colleagues on the Cambridge city council to serve as mayor for the 2008-2009 term. She is currently serving her fifth term on the council.

After Sen. Anthony D. Galluccio was sentenced to a year in jail following a hit and run, the seat has become vacant. He has officially resigned from his position.

According to the Harvard Crimson, as the second Cambridge City Councillor to join the ten-candidate race, Simmons declared, "The difficult job market, the affordable housing crunch, and the strain upon our social services providers have taken a toll on us all," she said in a statement announcing her campaign. "[W]e need strong leaders in the legislature who are prepared to roll up their sleeves, respond to their districts' needs, and get Massachusetts back on track."

Upon being sworn in as mayor in 2008, in an interview with The Advocate, Simmons said that being outed early in her career by a local newspaper actually made things easier.

"It wasn't that I hid," she said. "I just didn't bring it up. Afterward, I didn't have to think anymore about which pronouns I used when I talked about my partner."

Simmons said she is focused on face-to-face campaigning, highlighting her desire to interact with citizens who do not know her in the further reaches of her district.

"There is no second place to direct voter contact," Simmons said.

Simmons will face fellow City Councillor Marjorie C. Decker and six other Democrats in a primary on April 13, followed by a general election on May 11.

 

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