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Pro-Equality Candidates Win Municipal Races Across North Carolina

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Raleigh, NC - Equality NC, North Carolina's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) advocacy group, congratulates pro-equality candidates across the state on winning important municipal elections. Out of the 65 candidates Equality NC endorsed, 45 were elected last night. Key victories include the Charlotte and Durham mayoral and city council races, the Raleigh mayoral race and the victories of openly LGBTQ candidates: Vernetta Alston in Durham, Michelle Kennedy in Greensboro, Jane Campbell in Davidson, Karen Stegman in Chapel Hill, Tamara Sheffield in Salisbury, and Jerry Windle in Morrisville. After last night the total number of out-LGBTQ elected officials in North Carolina climbed to 20.

"In 2017, Equality NC has endorsed more municipal candidates than ever - and the results are nothing but amazing," said Matt Hirschy, Interim Executive Director Equality NC. "The wave of newly elected openly LGBTQ candidates will be vital in our efforts to keep the state moving forward. In a state that still suffers the legacy of HB2 and the very real effects of HB142, out-elected and pro-equality representation have never been more important. Anti-LGBTQ groups, such as the NC Values Coalition, have worked hard this year to elect candidates not representative of North Carolina's values of equity and inclusion, but voters across the state were not fooled. Equality NC is proud to have played an important role in educating voters and is standing ready to work with many of the new and re-elected pro-equality candidates to ensure that all LGBTQ North Carolinians are protected from discrimination."

At least 16 different municipalities across the state elected pro-equality representation last night. Municipalities range from some of the largest cities such as Charlotte, Raleigh, and Greensboro to smaller towns such as Harrisburg and Mount Pleasant. In Charlotte, pro-equality candidate Vi Lyles defeated Kenny Smith endorsed by the NC Values Coalition, North Carolina's largest anti-LGBTQ group. Vi Lyles is committed to passing fully-inclusive, commonsense non-discrimination protections for LGBTQ residents and visitors in Charlotte. All eight Equality NC endorsed candidates also won their elections for Charlotte city council, ensuring that Charlotte continues to move forward. The Charlotte City Council is currently facing a variety of important local concerns on economic opportunity and mobility, affordable housing, and criminal justice reform -- all issues which disproportionately impact the LGBTQ community.

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